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Viewing the 'spending' Category

Planning to spend today

April 21st, 2007 at 09:29 am

Aside from the grocery shopping I'm going to do today (since yesterday was payday and it's time to restock some things), I am planning on spending about $80 today.

My step brother is leaving to be stationed in Okinawa next week. We're having a going away party for him tonight. It sounds like his wife's family isn't going to be there for various reasons (lame but whatever) so it's just going to be us (myself, youngest brother, middle brother with wife, and step brother with wife and baby and maybe step daughter).

Youngest brother doesn't have any money, well he has enough coming in to cover basic expenses while he goes to school so I already told him I'd cover his dinner.

Middle brother and wife have been going through some trying times. Wife had some swelling in her brain that resulted in her having eye surgery. She's been off of work for a month now which has saved them a lot in gas but still cuts into their budget. Although Middle brother also had a recent raise of $2/hr that kicked in right about the time that wife took sick so they're not totally strapped but close. So I'd like to pick up their bill as well.

Step brother is leaving. I want to do something nice for him but because he's heading overseas there's really nothing I could give him that would be appropriate. So I'll treat them to dinner and give them a little more wiggle room as they sort stuff out. Step brother's wife and baby will be staying in the states an extra two months before following him.

We're going to Red Robin where it's next to impossible to spend less than $10/person unless people share. There's six of us (plus possibly a 5 yo) so that's at least $60 plus tip. I have $60 set aside to pay for eHarmony but I talked to J, the guy I've been dating briefly, last night and I think I'm just going to give it a little more time before I throw in the towel just yet. So instead of spending it there I'll just spend it on dinner tonight. If I do decide to join eHarmony I'll just use money from my babysitting jobs that have become more plentiful as of late.

Granted, if more people show up (ie close friends) it'll be trickier to pull off. But it's something I really want to do AND I can do it without charging it. It makes me really happy to be able to do these things and I don't make a habit of it (though I'd like to but I realize that's part of what got me in trouble before with credit cards).

Catching up.

April 17th, 2007 at 10:36 am

Seems like forever since I've blogged. Probably because I had a four day weekend (burned up my last two vacation days) and haven't really been around the computer much.

I found out that I'll be reimbursed for most of what I spent on food for the baby shower I helped co-ordinate last Saturday. I knew that the soon-to-be grandmother had sent a check to the gal organizing everything but didn't know how much. I spent about $48 total and the organizer bought stuff too. Turns out between the two of us we only spent $16 more than what the grandmother sent us so we split the difference. I was planning on donating $20 to the cause so that works fine for me. She'll give me the check on Thursday.

I also still had money from the cash I got paid last week Monday so I included that in my Tuesday Deposit. Total to be deposited is $75, would have been $100 but the guy who pays me on Sunday didn't have a check with him so I'll get it on Wednesday.

I have decided to join eHarmony. The guy I have dated a couple of times from the free communication weekend isn't working out and they're having a special (that they run often apparently) where you can get three months for the price of one. I'm not actually committing to it until I finish sorting out the guy but I took the $60 out of my Tuesday Deposit so I'm still putting $15 into savings today.

I just got an email from the gal in charge of the Monday childcare that I've been doing and it might actually turn into a regular thing. As much as I'd love to pick up every possible extra dime, I can't commit to every week and keep my sanity. Especially since I'll most likely be doing Wednesdays as well, the first three of every month. So I think we've decided on every other week, with a second person helping which actually drops the pay from $25 to $20 because she only has $40 in the budget for child care. But I'm ok with that. I also told her I could be a backup on the off weeks in case something happens at the last minute with the regular sitters.

One of my drugs is coming out with a controlled release version (meaning I would just have to take one a day instead of two a day). Apparently not all insurance companies are covering it so I called mine today to see if it was. It is but on the most expensive tier, I pay $35 for it now and it would be $50. Since I take other things twice a day it's not that big of a deal for me to continue taking it twice a day. But I will have my dr write me out a prescription for it because I'll be getting a coupon for a free 30 day supply from the manufacturer. The other good news with that particular drug is it'll be coming out in generic soon too which means it should drop in price from $35 to $10.

And in non-financial news, I'm doing the Photo 365 thing too. I included the link in my links section but here it is: http://picasaweb.google.com/ldyfaile/Photo365 I plan on updating it as often as I can. I will take a photo a day just might not upload it that day. It looks like you can subscribe to a RSS feed as well for it. I love Google.

Weekend Spending.

April 9th, 2007 at 10:45 am

I didn't intend to splurge. But I had an opportunity to go to Costco over the weekend. While I didn't buy much really, and what I did buy I got a good deal on, it still made this payperiod's grocery budget tight. The flip side being that the next few payperiods grocery budget will be a little roomier since I won't need to buy some things for a while that I use almost every day.

Then I took my friend out to breakfast at McDonalds (an old family tradition) and spent about $7 total. Which zapped the rest of my cash. So I pulled $40 out of savings and then wound up at Saturday Market. Spent $5 on lunch and found the perfect bag for $8. I hate carrying a purse but with summer coming up and my desire to carry my digital camera with me a lot more it's something I was planning on getting anyway.

So now I have $25 to last until the 20th. Shouldn't be a problem, there's only a couple things that I'll need to restock.

I'll be getting paid cash for work tonight so I'm thinking about just hanging onto it instead of depositing it, giving me $50 on hand. Reason being, I'll be buying a bunch of food for a baby shower on Friday and I'd rather spend cash. I will be reimbursed for whatever I purchase but cash just seems to be easier for me to limit what I spend. To easy to overspend with a card.

I also have $30 that I'd pulled out for a baby shower gift. I'm not really planning on spending that much and I have a coupon for one of the places she is registered at plus I might be going in on a gift with another friend. All told I'll probably be putting a lot of money back into the bank after this next weekend is over.

Just right now I feel like I'm bleeding cash left and right. But I know I'm not really spending all that much all told.

Rock on

March 29th, 2007 at 12:49 pm

I will need to buy new shoes for doing Portland to Coast. I wanted to buy two pairs, one mainly for training and the other for the actual event (that I would break in during training but not use quite as much). That was a trick I learned when training for a marathon, if you find a pair of shoes that really work for you buy two pairs because chances are if you wait til you actually need them that style may be gone.

I used Brooks Addiction 4 Men's running shoes for the marathon. For the walk it was perfect, just enough room in the toe so I wasn't smashing my feet when I walked and I managed to only get one blister out of the whole thing and it was near my callous on the side of my foot so I didn't really notice it anyway.

A year or so later I picked up another pair of the same shoes, apparently it was a popular style so Brooks kept it around.

This year I had resigned myself to having to go to a running shoe store to get fitted and see what brand/style would work this time around. I remember paying about $75 each pair for the shoes I got before.

On a whim, I decided to check online. I rarely buy shoes online because I can't try them on. But I found someone that had the exact style I was looking for on clearance. Total price for two pairs including shipping: $78. Rock on. I think I'll wait til next payday to actually buy them. But that made me happy!

I spent money today.

March 23rd, 2007 at 01:49 pm

I really really really want to do Portland to Coast which is the walking portion of the Hood to Coast relay. I found a team and was given two options. Pay the entrance fee now (the captain had already paid the fee to lock in the spot) or agree to pay by race day (August 24th). I didn't want to put it off, I do have it in savings although it doesn't exactly qualify as an emergency. So I told him I would mail him a check. Cost is $131.50 but $25 of that is to go for team fleeces.

I didn't really take in all the fees that are associated with this event. If we can't find vans/suv's to borrow we'll have to rent them to the tune of $800 each, or $1600 for the weekend so $200 each teammate. Then there's the hotel stay. After 127 mile relay race chances are no one will be heading back home afterwards. That's another $180 just for one room because none of the hotels in Seaside let you book for just one night on that weekend. But I might be able to share it with a teammate.

The captain is trying to get us sponsored. If that happens then hopefully we can use that money to cover the rental of the vans. Or if we find vans to borrow, perhaps that will cover the cost of our entrance fee.

I am really looking forward to this adventure. I meet my new teammates on April 7th.

It's been a while.

March 19th, 2007 at 12:53 pm

Not much been going on in the money realm of my life lately.

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I went on a date, first time in about 6 years, on Saturday. I'm still a novice when it comes to dating so I went fully prepared to pay for my portion. He wouldn't let me though and insisted I take home the leftovers (we split a small pizza). We have tenative plans to get together again soon. However we both are pretty busy with work and life which makes actually nailing down a date/time a little difficult.

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I remembered when I went to get my check for last night that they owed me for two weeks. That was a nice bonus since I'd forgotten about it. My Tuesday deposit is currently $50. It might wind up being $55 if I don't spend any money tonight.

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I got my balance transfer check (at the rate of 3.99%) while I was gone for $11,000. I'm waiting to cash it until I know for certain my balance is $0, but new statements should be coming out tomorrow. I'm debating what to do with that money. Here's the current plan:

$8,250 to pay off loan (14.4% interest)
$1,000 to go into savings account just in case my brother needs to borrow it for school (4.5% interest). If he doesn't need it then it'll go to pay off my loan at 10.9%
$1,000 to take over my portion of a debt on someone else's credit card. (7.99% interest)

With what's left, approx $750, I think I've decided to bump up my EF to $1k and then take what's left over and put on my loan (10.9% interest). My EF just never seems to hit the full mark. Once I hit that then I'll start putting my extra pay towards the higher interest loan. Every little bit helps.

Trip and stuff

March 15th, 2007 at 01:02 pm

I left with a little over $60 in my pocket for food. I came home with about $8 because my friend paid for a couple of meals plus the places we stayed offered decent breakfasts included with the rooms. I also spent $10 on a tshirt for me since I saw it the last day I was there and knew I had the money to spare. Smile I did reserve a room with my card and its obvious the authorization is still out there because it shows in my available credit. However when we checked out my friend put all charges on her card so the authorization should go away soon. My balance still says $0.00.

I had a lot of fun. It was crazy, I played navigator and secretary. We found her an apartment that was a little over her budget but it was something she could find out imediately about as opposed to having to wait 1 or 2 days. They were unloading the trailer when I left for the airport.

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I checked on the status of my balance transfer request, it has been approved so yay! I also happened to look and see what is currently available and the only option now is a 6.99% rate until paid off. I am soooo glad I put in the request when the 3.99% rate was available! Now I just have to wait for the check to arrive and hold onto it until the 20th to make sure the balance is $0.00 before I deposit it.

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Apparently there are a couple of hoops to be jumped through in order to make payments online to my Citi loan. I can't transfer directly from another financial institution to my loan. Instead, I have to do a transfer to my dummy Citi checking account and once it arrives there then I can transfer the payment to my loan. It's still faster than mailing it in, especially if I can submit it before noon my time. They reflect the interest accrual daily in the balance so I've been itching to submit a partial payment. But I had to wait the 14 days to set up my external account. Soon it will be down to a science and I'll be saving on interest.

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I was asked to be in a wedding. I don't really want to do it but it means a lot to the bride if I do. Before I left for Utah it had been called off by the groom over something totally stupid. One of those things where you think 'good thing it got called off now'. I was just informed by my brother that the wedding is back on. *sigh* I'm just too nice sometimes. The only positive thing about this wedding is it's in an area where I have lots of friends and family that I've been meaning to visit so perhaps I'll make a vacation out of the trip.

Pay day

March 5th, 2007 at 12:24 pm

Boy what a confusing time I had this morning. My method got messed up, I double added a couple of deposits so I thought I had more money than I really did, etc. But I sorted it all out and wound up with the following:

- All regular budget items taken care of.
- Another $20 paid towards a retreat I'm going on. It's $70 total but I'm hoping to be able to pay in installments each month. This payment makes $40 that I've paid so far.
- $25 on a Kiva gc for my dad for his birthday on Saturday.
- $40 pulled out for my vacation
- $40 held onto for the next paycheck, just to be sure all bases are covered.

I pulled out my gas and food budget too. I'll leave half of the food budget at home and most of the other half will be added to the $40 I pulled already. The only food I NEED to buy before I head away is I'm signed up to bring a main dish for a potluck on Tuesday. Otherwise I can skate by on whatever's in the house. I don't have to worry about hotels during my trip, my friend said she would cover that as a thank you for coming along and helping her move. So I think $80-$85 should be plenty for food over about 5 days of travelling. Hopefully we can stop at the store and buy things to eat in the car for our driving days instead of eating out every meal. I am planning on NOT spending every dime I take with me Smile

I haven't decided if I'm going to fill my tank before I leave for vacation or not. If my friend who works in the woods at a special school is home while I'm gone and needs the car then I'll fill it for him, otherwise if it's just going to sit at another friend's house I'll leave it at about half tank. My roomate will also be gone while I'm gone so I'm making arrangements for it to be somewhere that can be checked easily.

I went to Seattle this weekend. I caught a ride from some friends already going up so I saved $40 in gas. But then I spent more than I had intended on some things. Fortunately, not more than the $40 I saved in gas. It was worth it to surprise my friend that's moving away though.

The kill switch was installed this morning. Unfortunately it wound up being in a slightly more visible place than I expected but still not where I would look first if I was trying to quickly steal a car. So I think I'm going to continue using the club, give them something to focus on and perhaps draw attention away from the switch. I do feel better knowing it's there even though I do think it's painfully obvious. *sigh*

When I get my check from insurance for the tow I think it'll go into my brick and mortar savings account. That one's taken the biggest hit out of all of this. I try to keep all three accounts someone even but especially the local one since that's the one I can get to immediately if necessary.

Kill switch.

March 2nd, 2007 at 01:56 pm

In talking with someone at the gym this morning I decided to look into having a kill switch installed. Basically it means you have to do something special or the car won't start. The gal I talked to said she got it installed for $60 on her car.

I called my mechanic and he said to just get a car alarm with a kill switch. I called around about that and nothing was less than $200 installed. Umm not really what I was looking for.

I did however find a place that installs just the kill switch for $65. Now that's what I'm talking about! Appointment is set for Monday morning 9 am. I am leaving this weekend to go to Seattle so my car will be left unattended at my friend's house, armed only with The Club. Hopefully it will be ok. I know it will be but I'm a little paranoid now.

I dropped my car off at the shop to see if the random weirdness going on with my power locks was in any way related to the theft. Unfortunately it's not. And it's $212 to fix. Umm it can wait. So in the end it'll be $42.50 for the diagnosis plus $65 for the kill switch. Still cheaper all told than the alarm.

Thank God for an EF!

The saga continues

February 28th, 2007 at 10:51 am

So not everything is right with my car. The power locks started tweaking a little last night but this morning they were fine. I talked to my agent and she'll be getting back to me about where to take it, etc. Especially since I already told whoever called yesterday that there was no damage... Ugh. I don't mind not having power locks but I don't want it to cause other problems elsewhere.

I am leaving in a week for a 'vacation'. It's more of a working vacation in that I'll be catching a ride up with my best friend's parents to Seattle (I'll see if they'll let me pitch in for gas). Once we arrive we'll start loading the truck/trailer with all her stuff. The next day we'll start the drive from Seattle to Utah. That they are planning will take two days. That means hotel stay at least one night en route, shared with my friend. And food, potentially lots of eating out unless I can talk them into picking up stuff to eat in the car on the way. Once we get to Sandy, UT then she's got to find a place to live (she's looking now but hasn't found anything yet). I expect another two or three nights in a hotel, again shared with my friend, unless she locks in a place before we get there and I can stay with her. Then I fly back to Portland.

Her parents are the type to pay for things so its possible that they won't let me pick up my own tab. But I'm going prepared to anyway. We're leaving three days after payday so I should be able to go without restocking foodstuffs heavily. I'll take half of my food budget ($50) on the trip with me and leave the other half at home for when I get back. The rest of the trip money I'll pull from whatever is extra from my paycheck. My plan is to bring it all in cash so I don't have to track my debit card receipts. I'll seperate the food money from the rest of the money that way I know what goes where when I get home, if there's anything left. I'll also take my empty CC as a 'just in case'. I'm really looking forward to the trip.

Once was lost, now is found

February 27th, 2007 at 07:11 am

I just got a call from the Portland Police. They found my car, not too far away either. No visible damage to it. I can't pick it up til after 8 am because they charge a gate fee for getting it before then. Very excited am I! First stop on my way home...picking up The Club! Smile

My Tuesday Deposits will not go into their respective accounts but instead will go towards the retrieval fee of $138. I had $80 to go to Emigrant and $48 to go to ING which leaves me just a little short but I'll pull that from my brick and mortar savings plus a little extra for The Club.

Yesterday in the mail I got a coupon for a free 30 day supply of Coreg. That's my most expensive monthly medication! Rock on. Can't wait to use it.

After such a great weekend....

February 26th, 2007 at 08:03 am

Yes, I went overboard a little in my spending this weekend. I did get my camera fixed, well sent off anyway, to the tune of $164. I bought a pair of Danskos, probably could have found them cheaper online but I've never bought a pair before and had a hard time finding exactly the right fit so when I finally did I just bought them, to the tune of $120. In the end I have $48 that I'll be sending to savings.

I walked out this morning to go to the gym...and my car was gone. It's a '93 Honda Accord so one of the most likely to be stolen but I've had it for almost 4 years without incident. It does have nice rims and thinner tires but nothing else 'tricked out'. The bumpers have red scrapings on them from when I accidentally hit the fence when backing out of my parking spot. *sigh* Anyway. My car is gone for now. The police officer seemed pretty confident that they'd recover it. Of course I have to pay any towing fees and/or storage fees that get incurred once they do find it.

I've called my insurance agent, I don't know what sort of coverage I might have for theft, it's never been an issue before.

Fortunately, my roomate takes the bus because she works in downtown and she left me her keys so I can use her car today. Another friend uses his car rarely and has offered the use of it as well. The thing that annoys me the most, I just filled the tank. Ah well.

Spending the tax refund.

February 24th, 2007 at 10:46 pm

So..my thoughts have turned to spending my tax refund since my brother got a deposit yesterday that will take care of him through March at least. What happened to saving? I'm not sure. Thing is, I do have things I've been wanting to buy but I can't justify pulling money out of the EF for them.

I bought a memory foam mattress topper for my bed. It was $110 at Costco. I pulled out $140 cash since I don't have a Costco card and I wanted to cover all bases in case it cost more than I'd originally planned. The one I wanted was $100 but they didn't have that one at the store I went to. The one I bought is actually better than the one I was going to get, and only $10 more. I also bought shampoo, that should last me a while. That cost $14. I then bought dinner, $5. I have $11 cash left from what I pulled out of my account. I was debating about using it tomorrow if I go out to lunch after church. If I don't, I'll deposit it on Tuesday when I go to the bank.

I bought a new pair of jeans at Target for $20 so I have a pair of jeans that actually fit while I'm still trying to loose weight. Wearing slightly baggy ones was getting on my nerves.

I have been waiting to get my digital camera repaired for over a year. Normally something like that it would be cheaper to buy new than to repair. However, my dad gave me this camera so I feel guilty over ruining it after only two years of use. So I am prepared to pay up to $200 to get it fixed. I didn't make it to the camera store today so I don't have an official estimate yet but last time I checked on it they said $150.

I need a Good pair of everyday shoes, not just the cheapest pair I can find at Payless. I've been systematically getting rid of shoes that really don't fit right and am down to almost nothing. A good pair (Dansko, etc) will run anywhere from $50 - 100. I haven't decided if I'm going to do that or not. I do have a coupon for a shoe store in town that's $10 off a purchase of $50 or more. I might go check them out.

That leaves me with ... (500 - 140 - 20 - 200 - 100) $40. Wow. Um. I had really inteded on saving the rest. Why is it when the money is going towards savings I can justify spending it on things I do need but have been putting off but when the money is going towards debt I can put things off a little while longer?

I made an extra $40 I wasn't planning on tonight babysitting for a new family. That'll help. I think end of March I will have my EF all built up. That makes me happy.

My first Kiva loan

February 23rd, 2007 at 09:36 am

I got my tax refund today! I wasn't expecting it until next week, but I'm certainly not complaining. I had stated that I wanted to make a Kiva loan (www.kiva.org) with part of my return so that's the first thing I did.

What I like about Kiva is that they are the first non profit that PayPal doesn't charge any fees for processing, even if credit cards are used. So I know that if I donate $75 they are actually getting $75.

My selection process was actually pretty simple. I thought through a bunch of different ways to do it, perhaps keeping the focus on a specific country/region or gender. But in the end I decided on something much simpler. I sorted the open loan requests Oldest to Newest and scanned through the first page of Oldest to find the one who had the most raised so far. That's it. I selected a gentleman who had $125 left to be raised and my $75 pushed him to just $50 left. After I processed everything I went back to sort the list again to see what the new percentage was. And guess what? Someone else had picked up the other $50 while I was fiddling around with checking out and such. He is now fully funded! This particular loan is slotted to be paid back in 14-16 months.

My goal for now is to make a new donation with tax returns. The reason being, since I adjust my witholdings so I don't overpay, what I get back is really bonus since it's based on student loan interest. So once a year I'll make a new donation. Once the loan(s) get paid back I will just recycle the money back and reloan it to someone else. The hope being that when my student loans are paid in full, or at least I stop getting tax refunds, that I'll have enough recirculating that I don't need to add any more donations.

I also made a small donation to the company itself to help them with rent and such. They don't get a cut from the loans.

I am also considering buying Kiva gift certificates for gifts this next year. The receiver then gets to pick someone to fund and then can withdraw the money once its paid back if they so desire. We'll see. I'm just really excited that the person I picked got funded so fast!

$40 bank error, not in my favor

February 10th, 2007 at 11:07 am

I messed up. I thought it odd that I had more money after the last check but just chalked it up to the fact that I have a different amount of extra money out of each paycheck. Turns out a transfer out to Emigrant got recorded as a deposit in Quicken. It was for $20 but since I thought I had $20 more instead of $20 less that actually makes me off by $40.

I just balanced my register and am now -$4.57. Which is not really the case for the account since I'm holding onto money for my first loan payment so I'm really ok. Just debating about whether or not I want to pull $40 back out of savings to cover the whoops or just leave it as is for now and make up the difference next check. I think I'm going to hold off on pulling from savings for as long as possible. I'm holding out $250 for my new loan payment since I don't know exactly when it's going to be due. So my account is far from being overdrawn.

Just frustrating to me. Know I know, if it seems like I have more money than I thought I should, double check transfers to/from Emigrant and ING. Those are the ones most likely to get reversed on accident.

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I'm going to have a chat with my brother today. His account is at $52. His electric bill is the only bill that hasn't been paid yet, it's $63. His roomate will pitch in half, but that still leaves barely $20 for the rest of the month. He has GOT to stop eating out. Fortunately he'll work at the bar tomorrow morning and probably make like $60. I just need to pound it into his head that that HAS to last him all week. The bar he works at mentioned another possibility, having him call people that filled out comment cards on the comedy nights to give them free tickets to come back. That'd be a couple hours a night a few nights a week. Anything extra is welcome at this point.

Bookstore danger!

February 6th, 2007 at 10:48 pm

I am usually pretty good about walking into a store, buying the one thing I need, and getting to the checkstand straight away.

I walked into Powell's, their main store in downtown, headed to the children's area, consulted an info computer as to the exact row/section for the book I wanted for my friend's 3yo's birthday, picked up the one copy of the book that was new but $3 less than the other new books available and made for the checkstand.

Looming before the checkstand, something I'd not noticed on the way in, was a large section of Sale Books. On the way back a couple things caught my eye and I said to myself 'it wouldn't hurt to browse'. Famous last words. The first book to catch my eye was The Cat in the Hat. Hardbound for $5. The request for the 3yo's gifts had been for books, especially 'your favorite childhood books' since most of the people coming are adults, and the kid got more toys than they know what to do with for Christmas. I was already planning on buying him Bed Bed Bed because it's super adorable and I know they don't have it. But The Cat in the Hat. That's the first Dr Seuss books I remember reading on my own. So I bought that one too figuring if they already have a copy then they can pass it on to someone else.

Of course I couldn't stop there, I had to scan every last shelf. I stopped myself from buying any of the personal finance books, especially ones I have on my list at the library. But I'd been thinking lately about how it would be good to start carrying around a journal so I can keep track of food, exercise, water, and these light headed spells that I keep having. I might even channel Bridget Jones periodically and start entries with my weight for the day in stone. Smile They had quite the selection of sizes and shapes for only $5.

But wait, there's more! I spotted something rather unique. A pad of Fold and Mail stationary. Ok so it had Catwoman on it but that wasn't the point. Fold and Mail stationary??? That's the coolest thing! My first thought was that I had to buy it so I could write my friend a letter on it. I've started collecting things like blank cards and such when I find them on sale and I've been trying to be consistant in mailing people every few months since I don't get around to calling them. So I bought that too...


All told really it wasn't that bad. I spent $28.44, of which I was planning on $13.50. I haven't decided how I'm going to count that money yet. I do give myself $30 to play with every check but a good portion of that was already set aside for other things. It'll all balance out in the end.

Catch up.

January 29th, 2007 at 12:28 pm

In the past week or so since I've posted things have been ok. I've worked out a way to soften the blow of the eyeglasses expense. My next two weeks of Tuesday Deposits will just stay in my bank account instead of being transferred to Emigrant. That coupled with my regular budget amount for Medical should balance out my account and I think in April I'll be back on track with saving in my Medical account.

This week could have been bumper in regards to extra cash. I might be babysitting tonight (hopefully not as I have a class* to attend), I got an offer to babysit tomorrow night (I had to decline), and I am babysitting on Wednesday night. Every little bit helps but I need to not kill myself just because the opportunity arises.

I really need to step up my decluttering efforts. I found out this weekend that the friend that I rent a garage from is interviewing at places out of state which means I won't be able to rent the garage for too much longer should he actually accept a position that requires a move. I have shifted a lot over to my apartment, but it needs sorting because a lot of it can be dumped I think. And I've sort of run out of room to store anything at my apartment. It would save me $60/mo to not have the garage and that's something I was working really hard on clearing out over the summer.

I gave away $200 today. It was an emergency in my eyes. One of my good friends is underemployed and does not have medical insurance. She broke a tooth on the way to Croatia last May and hasn't been able to get it fixed. She finally went in to see a dentist hoping that it was someone who would work with her payment wise. The outcome was she needed to come up with $200 by Tuesday (tomorrow) and another $200 at the next visit. After that they'll set her up with a payment plan. A few of us heard about her predicament through an email her roomate sent out basically just asking us to keep her in prayer. We did, we also collected $400 for her. That way she's taken care of until the payments start up. Although none of us discussed how much we were donating so it was definately a surprise. I did not loan the money out. My EF will take a slight hit this month as a result but I'm ok with that. I know it'll bounce back and I'm just glad I had the money to be able to do it.

My brother finally got all the paperwork he needs to request the GI Bill. Hopefully he will submit that request today. Then we just have 3 months to wait for it to kick in...

*My church offers free classes on a variety of subjects so it's not something I have to attend, just something I want to as the subject is of interest to me. But I'm not wasting money if I don't go.

Well that was more than I expected.

January 24th, 2007 at 10:18 pm

*sigh* So I read the sign wrong. Serves me right for not asking and just assuming. The deal is, $69.95 plus the different packages. So instead of paying $189 for two pairs of glasses I paid $293.95 for two pairs of glasses. But still, I can't complain since last time I paid $311 after insurance for one pair of sunglasses. I will be submitting a reimbursement request tomorrow and hopefully I'll get about $150 back.

I took quite a hit though in my little check register envelope system. We'll see how it all pans out. So far I've transferred $40 out of my Medical savings account but I'm trying to avoid pulling any more out. I think it'll pan out ok in the end. I still owe myself $214 but I'm hoping to make it up over the next couple of months of medical bills budget overages that would have gone to medical savings.

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I found those cubes that my friend got but I couldn't get ahold of her to find out if she wanted any. Since I was there I picked up 9, 3 for me and 6 for her. But they were a different color. I just found out she doesn't want them if they aren't the same color. Shoot. Well I figure I have about 10 days before I'll be out that way again, to pick up my glasses. So I'll see how many I really need and just take back whatever I don't really want. They might come in handy though. We'll see.

Eye appointment and other stuff

January 23rd, 2007 at 11:55 am

They do a really good job of guiding you out of the exam and into the optical shop. And y'know what? If I had my old insurance policy I totally would just get them there because it's easy. However, I don't have my old insurance policy and they charge extra for things other optical shops don't. Fortunately I got out of my appointment at 9:40 and had to be to work at 10 so I was able to avoid wasting the gal's time helping me find frames.

I did get a copy of my prescription and found out that I shouldn't get the polycarbonate lenses anymore because of my prescription. So that settles that, I was debating about the poly or the hi-index. I guess it'll be hi-index then. They cost a bit more but if insurance does reimburse me anything it'll totally be worth it. I'll go pick out frames tomorrow evening.

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I made my Tuesday Deposit today for a total of $30.05. $25 from childcare, $5 from Pinecone, and the nickel from Bank of America. I didn't think they'd send me a nickel check but they did and I deposited it. I transferred the $30 straight to Emigrant. The nickel can stay in my checking account.

I'm doing an extra night of childcare this weekend, on Saturday. A gal I work with on Sundays asked if they could 'hire' me for Saturday so I don't know what I'll be paid but I will be paid. I'm anticipating $25 like normal.

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Friend of mine picked up these cube things at Home Depot for storage and they worked really well in her closet. You can find them at HomeDepot.com search for 100377339 it's not exact the ones she got are only 12" and brown not blue. But they were only $2.50 each. I need some serious help with clothes storage so I might pick some up for bulky stuff that takes up too much room in my dresser.

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I just checked my student loan online. The little one isn't a federal one so it couldn't be consolidated with everything else. I got annoyed that the payment was never really the $50 they claimed it would be and it kept fluctuating when the interest did so I started paying $60/mo instead. Right now they say I'm paid ahead enough that I could skip a payment. I ignore it for now, I figure at some point I might take advantage of it but not right now. Finally though after five months of actually paying attention to what they say my payment should be it finally changed. From $52.99 to $51.89. I am curious to see how it fluctuates so I'll continue to keep an eye on it. I figure every 8 months or so it should change either by them pushing the payment due date out another month or by the amount of the payment due.

Vision insurance changed...

January 22nd, 2007 at 04:24 pm

I called to see what the procedure/forms were for getting vision hardware (ie glasses frames and lenses) from an out of network provider. I found out the following:

My co-pay is now $20, up from $15 last time.

The amount they'll pay for hardware is $150, up from $100 last year.

I'm still going to the same clinic I've gone to for the past 8 years but my doctor has left the clinic so I'll be seeing someone new. I will be getting my glasses at America's Best. They are running a special right now, 2 pairs of glasses and a free eye exam for $70. However that's for regular glasses and my prescription is such that I get Polycarbonite (sp?) or High Index lenses. Which increases the price to $130 or $190 respectively.

I don't know if my insurance will reimburse me the full $150 since I'm buying two pairs of glasses but when I called to verify it didn't say anything about how many pairs of glasses it could be applied to only that I had a maximum of $150 that could be spent in a year. So I'm going to go with the Hi Index and possibly get one of the pairs made into sunglasses (included in price). It's still a darn good price considering the lowest I could find at other stores (Lens Crafters, Binyons) was $169 for one pair.

I'm bummed that I can't use Goggles 4 U because of the level of prisms I need. But on the other hand, I'm not so sure about the whole not being able to try them on before you get them thing so part of me is ok with it.

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I had a wonderful thought this morning about my brother and funding his education til the GI Bill kicks in (if it ever does). I completely forgot about taxes. As in, my brother probably gets a decent return since he only spent about half of last year employed. Soon as he gets all of his W2s (just waiting on two more) we'll scout out places to file online for free and get that going.

I'm still debating about what I want to do with my return. I did well on guessing my withholdings so I only overpaid by like $60 but because of how much student loan interest I paid, my return will be closer to like $500. Though I'm still waiting for a few things so that may change. Because of all the extra stuff I have to claim I can't do the free filing online which sucks. But oh well. I did decide a while ago that 10% of whatever I get back, rounded to the nearest $25, will be donated to Kiva.org. I may just hold onto whatever's left over to help K get by. We'll see. Parents are going to be in town next week so possibly they'll float him some extra cash. And our Aunt keeps palming him money, for which I am grateful but it annoys him because he so desperately wants to make it on his own.

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One of these days I'll get back into declutter mode and try once again to get rid of my storage unit. Once done, I'll be saving $60/mo.

Postponed...

January 18th, 2007 at 12:52 pm

Just got word that reviews have been postponed for a couple more weeks. There's a few things in the works that will potentially have an impact and until more is known then everything else is on hold. Ah well. So I won't really know the impact of my raise (if there is one) until Feb 20th. Sort of a bummer but whatever. It's all good still.

I didn't drive the past two days so that was nice for saving on gas. And now there's four of us all together that carpool to a meeting once a week so with the rotation it means I'll only have to drive once a month. That's nice because it's a bit of a drive out there (from 30th to 162nd with no easy freeway travel so it's all surface streets).

I am anxious for my check tomorrow. It'll be the first with my regular withholdings. I suppose I could have left it as it was and just changed it at the end of the year but I'd rather rip the bandaid now than later.

I decided to not do the cruise I was contemplating next January. Whether or not the band I like will be one of the many included, I have a better vacation to plan for in March of 2009. It'll be a sort of graduation celebration for my best friend so we're planning on doing things up right. I figure, if I can save the money and pay cash, then I can splurge on things I wouldn't normally since it'll be a special occasion. We'll see how that goes. I have a thought about how to fund the vacation account but I'm not ready to actually start it yet.

I will be riding up with my best friend's parents in March so I can help her pack and move to Utah. I put in my vacation request and it was approved. Now all that's left is to buy the plane ticket. Soon as the $90 transfers from Emigrant I'll do that. Southwest has an awesome deal right now, I can get a one way ticket for just under $90 from Salt Lake to Portland. I'm buying it now (has to be purchased by Jan 22nd to get it at that price anyway) and if something comes up and I don't go now I can use that later on another flight with Southwest. Right now that'll be coming out of my EF but my hope is once I get my vacation fund set up I will be able to pull that sort of thing from there instead.

It could have been worse...

January 13th, 2007 at 11:51 pm

I'm not one known to just willy nilly spend money, not when it's cash anyway. I used to go crazy with the credit card, especially when they would raise my limit. But I know better now.

I have money stashed away for Medical bills as they come due. I have a really good friend of mine who is under-employed, has no insurance, is out of contacts, hasn't had an eye exam in two years, and is wearing a pair of glasses she got fitted for in Vietnam 6 years ago. Eye care is really important to me and America's Best was running a special, two pairs of glasses plus an eye exam for $69.95. I contacted her yesterday and told her I would like to pay for that if she wanted to get it done. She agreed and that's how I started out my morning.

It is fun truly to watch people try on eye glasses and help them decide what looks good. I let her fend off the 'upgrades', I would have been willing to pay for some of them as they were reasonable but I left the ball in her court. Her prescription has changed slightly, enough to need new glasses. I think she'll be really happy with them when they come. Total spent $85 because she'd gotten something extra that cost $15 and offered to write me a check for the difference, but I was going to give her $10 for something our group is doing next week so told her to keep $10 for that and she could give me $5 later on when she had it cash.

That started the downhill slide. The eye place is near Target. I don't often go to Target because it's not close by. I figured I'd missed out on all the good clearance stuff but felt the need to wander. I did see things that I could justify on a level, but I didn't really need them so I didn't get them. However, I did walk out of there with a long sleeve shirt (clearance ~$6.50), a couple tubes of toothpaste, and a rug that'll cover a cord so we don't trip on it. Total $13.07.

After stopping at home I went on to visit my brother at the bar he works at. I had 'lunch' except they serve breakfast til 3 pm so for $7 (including tip) I had 2 pancakes, 2 eggs, and 2 slices of bacon. We chatted for a while, it was pretty dead in there so he could stop and talk, and then I went on my merry way. I pulled the cash to pay for it out of my gas money.

I had a gift card for Best Buy. Again, not one really close by me but there was one near where my brother was so I stopped by to get a SD card for my mp3 player. They had one for $25 that I felt was good enough, my gift card was for $20 so I spent $5. While I was at Best Buy I got a call stating that my friends were going to the Zoo that afternoon in celebration of their youngest's first birthday. I had a little time to kill still (the Zoo would be on my way home from where I was anyway) so I walked next door....

...To Old Navy which was having a 50% off clearance prices sale. Man it was crazy in there, clothes piled everywhere despite the crew members trying hard to keep it somewhat functional. They had a lot I probably could have picked up for reasonable prices but I was trying to keep overall cost down so I stuck with two tshirts, another long sleeve to layer under stuff and one short sleeve. Total cost $7.39

Then it was off to the Zoo where I bought a membership because I had $45 saved up towards an annual pass, it's $9 just to get in for the day, and that would only make me $5 short of the pass total. Total cost $59.

A friend invited me out to dinner, I don't get to see her often so I agreed so long as we went cheap. Went to a cheap mexican restaurant, total cost $5 (including tip). Then we decided to watch a movie at her place, and I used my giftcard for Blockbuster.

I'm going to visit friends tomorrow that will take a good chunk of gas to do it. So I went ahead and put in my $10 gas card I had for Shell. Hopefully that will help balance things out so I won't need gas again until Friday when I get paid.

Total spent for the day: $174.36
Total to be repaid by other funds to be deposited next week: $116
Total unexpected expense: $58

Surprisingly enough, this doesn't drain my bank account. It does make it so I only have $45 held out for my next paycheck instead of $60 unless I change my mind about transferring the babysitting money I got on Friday and leave it in the bank to soften the blow of my spending spree. The only reason I was holding that money out was because I changed my withholdings back to 1 and I don't know what effect that will have on a 'normal' paycheck. $60 is how much I'm 'short' when the withholdings are set at 1 but since I'd been at 2 for a good chunk of the year I ignored it.

But you know what? I really didn't do all that bad all things considered. I got a lot of stuff but didn't pay a lot when you factor in the gift cards. And it's stuff I can use. And I rarely buy clothes so once in a while it's nice to get something new y'know?

New Windshield?

January 12th, 2007 at 08:06 am

This morning as I was scraping off frost I noticed a crack in my windshield. *sigh* I can't feel it on either side, at least I think I was looking at the right spot. There's definately frost on the inside of the windshield in the middle of the passenger side.

I just did a quick quote at Safelite and found that if it's repairable (depending on the size) it might only cost about $90 but if it has to be completely replaced it'll run about $400 give or take.

I don't know if I want to have insurance cover it, or even if that's an option. That always seems to screw with rates later on if you actually use those types of features. Very annoying.

I guess I know what I'll be doing tomorrow, visiting nearby auto glass places for quotes.

The nice thing about this is...either way I have plenty in my EF to cover the expense. That actually makes me feel good about it. On the other hand it's depressing because it means potentially starting over. But that's what it's there for right?

The theme is Tranquility.

January 10th, 2007 at 12:44 pm

My friend's birthday is today. Her husband is organizing a quasi-surprise party for her at her favorite sushi place. I say quasi-surprise because she knows that they are meeting a few people for sushi but doesn't really know everyone that will be there or how many people either. Case in point, I was invited and she asked if I could babysit. Smile I originally had something else going on anyway (that she knew about) so I was able to decline gracefully.

I was woried about the cost of dinner though. So I looked up the restaurant we're going to and not only is it normally relatively inexpensive but on Wednesday nights most plates are $1.25 each. One plate has three decent pieces of sushi. Usually when I eat at places like that, I max out at four plates. And it shouldn't damage my diet too much either.

When her husband called he said that the theme for gifts is Tranquility. She's very pregnant with their third son arriving March 1. They have a son turning 1 in January and a son turning 3 in February. So things are already crazy without adding a third one to the mix. Fortunately the idea I'd already had for her gift works very well. I picked her up a large tin of loose leaf Foxfire tea. The particular mix, Harmony, is one I know she really enjoys. At home I already had some Asian themed things I'd picked up on clearance at Target, so I also wrapped up two smallish matching ceramic mugs. I reused a gift bag I had gotten something in that had survived being transported home. And this morning I met a gal for coffee who will also be there tonight and who hasn't picked up anything yet for the birthday girl. I mentioned what I'd gotten and that I had forgotten to get a tea infuser since I don't know if they have one. The gal I met for coffee said she would pick one up and a candle or something else as her gift. Yay, that means I don't have to kill myself trying to get that and then make it to the restaurant before the birthday girl!

I am really looking forward to tonight, hoping that the weather doesn't hinder things, and that the birthday girl will be not too stressed so she can enjoy her special day. It's supposed to snow today, it did snow a little earlier but it wasn't sticking. The party actually has a couple of stages. We were encouraged to park near the last stage since there's only 7 blocks between the first and last stops of the evening. So first, sushi dinner, then a walk up to Powell's for something the husband hasn't elaborated on yet, then to a bar for gifts (since there'll be hopefully a table large enough to accomodate everyone there) and other revelry.

I'm really glad I'm not moving a couch after all tonight. Next week will work out so much better.

Clothes shopping and brother..

January 9th, 2007 at 10:52 am

I did fairly well for myself this time around. I hate shopping for clothes, with a passion. But my friend mentioned that Avenue was having a 70% off sale so I stopped just to see if there was anything that fit. I'm working hard at loosing weight and it'd be nice to have to clothes that fit right, but I'm not at my goal weight so I don't want to stock up on things I'll 'slim out of' either. Found a $40 pair of chords for $10 that not only fit and were the right length, but they were also a size smaller than I've been wearing lately. Score! Then last night I was at Costco with a friend and I tried to ignore the clothing section but my friend was taking her own sweet time. I only had $13 left in my 'personal' fund and most of the items we saw were at least $15 so I had no problem ignoring them. Until we got to these super soft 3/4 sleeve sweaters that were only...$13. I am trying to move away from wearing tshirts all the time so I picked up one, in white of all colors. I'm a dark colors person but I'm trying new things....

My brother's first day of school was yesterday. He seemed to enjoy it well enough. He'd also worked at the bar this past weekend and had made $150 which made me really happy and meant we could breath a little easier. Only, he forgot about the credit card he has. We'd decided to use that for books that way we could stretch the little cash we have, or that he brings in. Plus work on building his credit history by using it and paying regularly on it. So he spent..you guessed it, the $150 from the bar on books. His credit card has a $250 limit so it's not like he can go crazy with it or anything. *sigh* I am really proud of him for working so hard and paying cash. But I'm really frustrated with him because he's got $80 left in his account to last til the end of the month, and to pay his electric bill with. Of course, there are a few more weekends left in the month so there's possibility for work but it's never definate til the weekend actually gets here if he's going to be working or not.

Then in the mail, instead of the form he needs to fill out to get his GI Bill, he got a letter stating that it wasn't part of his contract! Uhhh. I know that's one of the main reasons he joined the Army. I never actually saw/read the contract, just went by what he said when he got home from the recruiters. And of course, we can't find his contract anywhere (that was four years ago). They're still looking into it at least. And he happened to get a call from a friend who's still in the Army and has been moved to a desk job in the personell department so he's going to see if he can look into it since that'll be faster than waiting for the US Army HR department. *sigh*

I am so proud of him for taking the steps he is to go to school, I really don't want this to be a hitch in the road...

Payday and Paid back.

January 5th, 2007 at 08:39 am

Payday was today. I can't tell by this check what my regular pay will be because of the extra that's included from being on call. That will have to wait for next check. But perhaps I'll get my review before then, that would be nice.

When all was said and done, even with holding onto $60 for bills on the 20th, I still had $117 left over. More than enough to pay those extra things I needed/wanted. I'm going to call and schedule an oil change next week, giving me the weekend to try and find my prepaid punch card. Because if I can find the punch card that's one less thing I have to pay for. I decided to wait on the yarn store. I went ahead and spent the gift card I had for there to start on socks and I still haven't gotten whatever my best friend is sending me for Christmas. But I don't need the needles just yet so they can wait.

I did get a nice surprise in the mail. My uncle finally sent me the money to pay me back for the concert tickets. Total was $82.43, he sent me a check for $100. Since I'm stashing away extra unexpected money, I deposited $80 back into savings and kept out $20 to go towards my Zoo pass. That makes my total so far $45 and a Zoo plus pass is $59 so I'm almost there. As long as I can get it before summer so I can take advantage of the concerts then I'll be happy.

All the medical type things I have to pay for this month look like they'll be covered above and beyond what my budget is. That makes me happy, more to go into my medical savings account. But it's staying in checking until I'm done with appointments and prescriptions since there's a couple extra this month. I need to call the dentist once I have $500 in that account and find out how much my portion of a crown will be. The temporary seems to be holding ok at least.

401k meeting, envelopes, and oranges.

January 3rd, 2007 at 12:17 pm

401k meeting was today. Our funds got bought by Wespac although the transfer hasn't happened yet so we can't actually dictate what money we want to go where until that happens.

They have quite a few options to choose from, all but like three of them were in the 4s and 5s as far as star rating on Morningstar is concerned. Because we're an institution there's no fees on trades so we can log on every day and change things if we want. Once it's all set up of course.

I think I've decided what I want to do. I took the little risk assesment quiz again to see where I fell and I'm still in the 'Balanced' range. Basically 60% stocks and 40% bonds. I picked out about 4 stock funds and 1 bond fund. I plan on putting $4k into each stock fund and the rest into the bond. Now it's just a wait and see..

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I sort of use Quicken as my envelope system. I make 'future' payments with amounts I'm setting aside for use later. For example, I hold out $100 for rent out of my check on the 20th to go towards the next month's rent so I enter it as a payment on the 4th of the following month and then use the Ending balance as what I pretend my actual bank balance is.

I am out of gas. I had to run errands this morning and used more than I'd planned. I've put in all of my gas budget, the last bit was enough for 2 gallons which is about 40 miles of all city driving. I'm up to 26 miles driven so far, and have at least 21 to go before payday (Friday). So I 'borrowed' $40 out of one of my 'envelopes'. I'll put gas in tonight or tomorrow morning and fill it. Then I'll pay back the 'envelope' on Friday as soon as I get paid. It really struck me as funny how ingrained I've gotten to pretending money isn't in my account, I was actually panicing trying to figure out how to do everything I needed to on fumes.

I don't plan on doing this often but it's nice to have that 'oh yeah' moment.

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Anyone have tips on how to keep oranges from going bad? Normally I only buy enough fruit to get me through the week but I only had my Costco card to buy food with so I bought an 8 lb bag of oranges. I've eaten 4, and have had to toss 4 because of mold. There's 5 left, well 1 in my lunch so that one's ok but then 4 more at home.

I suppose I could keep them in the fridge but my teeth are sensitive so I don't think about putting fruit in the fridge because I can't eat it right away. However I could just store it in there and it should be room temp by the time I eat it at lunch. Hmm. Anyway.

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On last thing. My best friend is moving from Seattle to Utah for 18 months to go through a Nursing program. She's very excited about it and I don't know that I'll get to see her as often because of it. I'm working out my schedule for the end of my vacation time and I got a schedule from her of their tenative move plans. Her parents are driving up from CA and towing a UHaul trailer (though it'd be more cost effective to pick up the trailer in WA) and then they'll spend a day packing it, another two days driving, and then a day unpacking.

I wanted to go help her move, it's a big life change and I really support her in it. But original dates made it impossible. However it looks like it just might work out. I could catch a ride with her parents as they pass through Portland and fly back from Salt Lake. Right now tickets are $137 for one way and according to Farecast ticket prices will be heading back up in the next 7 days so buying it now is a wise move. Of course the ticket is non refundable but I'm going to call and make sure I'm reading it right, that I can use it for another ticket on that airline later if I cancel it. I figure I'll probably be making at least one flight out to see her in the next year if nowhere else.

I'm going to wait to actually talk to her about it before doing anything since it's still dependant on when her dad can get time off work. It's also dependant on when another friend's baby arrives because the front part of my vacation will be spent helping that family. It would mean dipping into savings to pay for the flight.

It starts today.

December 29th, 2006 at 01:30 pm

I deposited the balance transfer check on Tuesday because I knew K'd need the money by Friday and I wanted to give it plenty of time to clear, yet at the same time I didn't want to deposit it too early because that would mean more interest.

His monthly expenses are $689.
$275 rent
$100 phone
$40 electric
$74 bus pass
$200 food

Now his food budget he claims is more than he needs. I think that's because he's doing the bachelor thing of just eating a couple conveinence store hot dogs a day and counting that as good. But I want to make sure he has enough just in case.

He had about $142 left over from his last full paycheck and today his final paycheck for about a week was deposited which added another $232. All told he was going to be starting out January at $373, only $320 short of his monthly expenses.

I created a sub ING account for him and had deposited $1320 into it (holding out the $680 for January in case he really needed it all) earlier in the week. This morning I transferred $360 bringing that account total to $1680 plus I withdrew the $320 and deposited it into his bank account.

He hasn't received the paperwork yet for his GI Bill. Once he gets it, fills it out, and sends it back it'll be 3 months before it kicks in. So right now it looks like I'll need to be supporting him til April.

School costs are $880 for the semester plus books. Someone he works at at the bar might have the exact books he needs so books might not be an issue this time around. Only half of the money is due Jan 22nd (two weeks after classes start). The rest is due in February sometime.

If there isn't any more influx of cash then I have enough to cover him until the end of February, then I'll have to start dipping into my reserves. There is hope though. He works at a bar sometimes on the weekends and he can use that money instead of what's in the bank to pay for food. And he had an interview last week someplace that is pretty low key and he'd have plenty of time to study while at work. So there is the possibility of him not having to completely rely on what I've got. He hasn't heard back from the interview though so we're not really counting on it yet.

He also was palmed money from our aunt when we were there on Wednesday so he won't be dipping into his account quite yet. The plan right now is to spend cash first, and that as little as possible. When the first half of school is due I'll look at his bank account, calculate how much he needs for food til the next deposit by me at the beginning of February (using a rate of $7/day), and hope that there's something left over to put towards school so I don't have to pull the full amount out. It's entirely possible if the bar is busy on the weekends and he gets to be a server.

I'm really excited about him starting school. I think it'll be a lesson for him in more ways than one.

The payment will be going up on my CC that I did the balance transfer on, but right now I'm already paying about $160 more than the required minimum I should be able to absorb any extra that the minimum increases. Plus once he starts getting his GI bill he can start paying me back which will just go straight to the CC.

I am charging him interest and the fee that was incurred to do the balance transfer. Of course the downside to all of this is it'll increase my debt by $2k. *sigh* That's more than I've paid off since I started really concentrating on it in September. But it's ok. It will be taken care of in short order, at least as far as the actual debt going down on the CC. I have every confidence in that.

Sweet!

December 28th, 2006 at 03:25 pm

I went to my aunt's last night for dinner because another aunt and her new husband were visiting. Dinner was wonderful and if I didn't already have a bunch of leftovers in the fridge, I could have come home with more. Instead I insisted she send as much as possible home with my brother, the one who's out of work and who I'll be supporting for the next three months (or rather from now until three months after his GI bill paperwork gets sent in). She also tricked him into accepting $75 by palming him some cash with a $5 on the outside so he accepted thinking it was just a couple of bucks, but there was $50 total in hand plus $25 in a card she'd already planned to give him.

I got $25 as well in my card. Sweet! I was talking to my best friend on the way home and she mentioned that I should hang onto it for my Zoo Pass that I really wanted but no one got me (well I didn't want any one person to get it for me but rather said I was accepting donatations towards it). The other thing that I really wanted was a set of Denise Interchangables (knitting needles). I have a $25 gc for a local yarn store and they sell the needles there for $50. So that would make up the difference. However, the way my friend was acting on the phone I have a feeling she >might< have gotten that for me for Christmas. I haven't gotten her gift yet but she said it'd be showing up after Christmas. And it's one of those things you can't take back so I'm going to wait and see before doing anything.

I decided I really wanted the Zoo pass but I don't want to pull the rest ($34) out of savings. So I'm sticking the $25 in my dollar jar and any time I babysit and get cash for it (instead of a check) then I'll add it to the $25 til I get to $59. I should have it all in time for the Summer Concert Series.

I'm planning a trip to Costco on Saturday. I realize that it's probably a suicide mission but I have things I need to get, staples for lunch that I'll be running out of. There's only $5 left in grocery money so I'll be using my $50 Costco Cash Card to stock up as much as possible. I did a quick inventory of breakfast and dinner items and I should be good til the 5th. Plus some of the items I'll be getting at Costco are dry goods and will help future grocery budgets since I wont' have to buy those items for a while.

I have a list of items to buy with my 'extra' money this next check instead of putting it into savings. Why is it that savings is so much harder to push paying into than credit cards? Anyway, I knocked one thing off that list this week. I was talking to someone about wanting to get a wireless card for my desktop and how since I have a $20 gc for Best Buy maybe I'd pick one up there. I started looking on eBay and found a new Linksys card for $19.96 after shipping with BuyItNow and decided to just get it now. Then when I went to pay, I was reminded that I had $9.99 sitting in PayPal that I'd forgotten about. So it really only cost me $9.97. I took it out of my 'Personal' money. The rest though will probably cost more than I'll have coming in so they'll have to wait til the next month. The list is:

- Oil Change (sucks because I still have one that I've prepaid but I can't find the card that shows it, who knows I might find it before the 5th, $20)

- Concert tickets (I'm restraining myself and not spending $40+gas to go to the Seattle show and only going to the Portland one which is $14 but I'm taking my dad and buying his ticket so he can't back out of it so that'll be $28)

- Home Depot (Damp Rid refill and container, and a staple gun about $30 total I think)

- Classmates 3 month membership (I have this strong desire to reconnect with people I knew before leaving for college, someone on there is trying to contact me but I won't know who without getting a membership so I'm getting the lowest level possible. $15)

- Yarn store. (If I do get the needles I wanted then this will actually come out of my gift card and I'll just get yarn for the socks I want to make, otherwise I'll be buying the needles I want. $25)

All told that's $118. And I'll probably only have about $87 extra. But I also changed my withholdings back to 1 so that might change too. So we'll see what gets held over for February.

I'm anxious for Monday, I really want to see how things look for the end of the month as far as Net Worth is concerned. I was hoping I'd get my uncle's check for the concert tickets I bought for him before the end of the month since I pulled that money out of my savings. But I don't know that that'll happen. There's still three more mail days though so it's possible.

One day after payday and the food money is mostly gone!

December 21st, 2006 at 11:52 am

But I'm not panic'd. Not yet. The reason I spent most of it was for Christmas Eve dinner and I'm expecting there to be plenty of leftovers to get me through.

I have $17 out of $100 left. I do still need to pick up some green beans for Sunday and fruit for lunches. But the fruit I usually only buy a little at a time so it doesn't go bad before I can eat it.

I'm really excited for the meal on Sunday. I bought an 8 lb ham and I think there's going to be 7 of us eating. Ham, a stout and cherry sauce, garlic mashed potatoes, green beans with toasted almonds and garlic, rolls (gluten free), pumpkin pie, sparkling cider. I think someone's bringing a salad.

I also got gas. I figured that as long as the price hasn't hit $3.079/gal then I'm still safe telling them to 'fill'. Unfortunately I only got 19 mpg last tank. I do a lot of city driving...ah well.

I was able to stash away $6 for my trip to Seattle in March. That makes me happy. We'll see if I can actually hold onto it...


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