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Archive for July, 2006

Dollar Jar is no more.

July 30th, 2006 at 10:11 pm

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 08:19 am

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 09:50 am

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 08:30 am

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 03:44 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 04:00 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 08:01 am

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 24th, 2006 at 08:53 pm

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 12:14 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 21st, 2006 at 11:18 pm

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 21st, 2006 at 06:05 pm

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 11:13 am

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.