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Home > Archive: July, 2005

Archive for July, 2005

July reckoning

July 31st, 2005 at 08:11 pm

walked with mom for 60 min

Bought a paper this morning spent $1.25
Went to Walgreens and spent $16.08 on HBAs. The Savings were $15.96 plus I'll get a $10 rebate back from this.

Met my parents for lunch at Outback used my gift certificates that I purchased at 12% off, no problems. I spent $18 and brought half my steak home for dinner tomorrow night.

Total spent for the month should be $371.69 but I must have added the totals in the journal wrong somewhere because the actual total is $400.89 just missed my goal of $400

Here's how it broke out

Gifts $2.50 - this isn't included in the $400 total since I have a gift fund that I used to pay for this

Groceries $109.64
Fast Food $44.42
Restaurants $46.00
Nieces $18.04
Clothes $26.59
Books/Newspapers $22.58
Gas $46.56
HBAs $34.49
Entertainment $4.75
Other $27.77

My goals for July were:

1. Only spend $400 for groceries, gas, entertainment, clothes, household basics and misc. My freezer is full thanks to SHARE and my pantry is full too, so I shouldn't need too many groceries, only produce and whatever is on sale.

Close enough at $400.89

2. Walk at least 5 times a week for at least 30 minutes each time.


3. Only go to fast-food restaurants twice and only eat at regular restaurants three times.

Missed this one big time. Went out to fast food restaurants 7 times and went to restaurants 4 times Frown

4. Save $1000 above my 401K contribution and on top of my third paycheck.


5. Save all of my third paycheck for the month.


6. Cook meals at least 2 times a week.


So I made 5 out of 6 goals, that's good.

I also did a networth update for the month of July. My networth increased by 13% I'm excited by that number it's a bigger jump than I expected.

I read Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris. Vampire Romance/Mystery. It's a good book part of an ongoing series. It's funny and different.

movie day

July 30th, 2005 at 08:41 pm

This morning I chopped up my veggies for the week and made a potato salad to eat the next couple of days.

Went to our branch library and picked up 10 holds. Then drove in town and went to the main library and got some back issues of Money and Kiplinger's magazines to read. Our branch library is so small they don't carry old issues of these I could get them on old but wanted to look at them first.

Next went to the Discovery Channel store in the mall and got this terrific musical piano toy that has lots of buttons to add drums and strings and rock and country etc. etc. etc. sounds. It was 29.95 and 30% off. Total was 22.50 I had a free GC for $20 that I used so I actually only spent $2.50 If my youngest niece doesn't want it for her birthday in Sept I will probably give it to Toys for Tots in December. I hope my niece wants it, because I love to give her noisy gifts so she can harrass my sister Smile I tell my niece that's her job, to bug her mother and that she does a very good job and deserves a promotion. LOL

Next browsed through Barnes and Nobles writing down more books to put on hold at the library.

I met a friend of mine at the dollar theater and we saw Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Funny movie, but very strange. Spent $1 for the ticket. Afterward we went to Cold Stones for ice cream and sat around talking and catching up for about an hour. Spent $3.75 on ice cream.

Stopped at Schlotsky's to pick up dinner on the way home and spent another $5.04.

Total spent so far this month = $337.61 tomorrow is the reckoning to see if I can stay under $400 looks pretty easy today. Although my goal for limiting fast food is totally shot. Frown

smaller paycheck

July 29th, 2005 at 10:15 pm

Walked with mom for 50 min

Because I did so well with my company stocks I'm going to owe more taxes, (there's always a catch Smile ) so I decreased my deductions on my W2. Now each paycheck is $60 smaller. That's $120 from my monthly budget since I don't count the occassional 3rd paycheck in my budget. I'll have to save less the rest of the year because I can't squeeze it out from anywhere else, or at least I don't want to. If you don't allow for some fun and wants in your budget you're sure to blow it.

Went to Rosie's Diner with my parents for dinner. Spent $7.00 then went to Safeway and got some produce and eggs. Spent $5.05 They had corn on the cob 8 ears for a $1.00 I'm buying some and freezing it for this winter. I love corn on the cob.

Total spent this month so far = $325.32

Finished reading Dance of Death by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. Mystery. This was a good book. I like all the books I've read by these authors, they are always unique and slightly different from the usual run of mystery books.

nothing new today

July 28th, 2005 at 08:13 pm

walked with mom for 55 min

No financial stuff today, just work. Finished listening to Devil's Bride by Stephanie Laurens. Romance. Very good book. Went to the library and picked up more holds.

Can't believe it almost Aug.

only 4 car payments to go

July 27th, 2005 at 07:51 pm

walked with mom for 55 min

Drove into work today. Stopped by the bank and got some cash then went to the gas station. Gas was 2.17 a gal. Ouch! Spent $22.61

Met a friend for lunch at Black Eyed Pea and spent $11

After I got home I walked with mom and then went to McDonalds for dinner and spent $8.72 another fast food meal Frown I've really busted this goal for the month.

Total spent this month = $313.27 Not sure if I'm going to stay under $400 for the month have plans for both Saturday and Sunday. Since I tend to spend most of my money on weekends and because this month has 5 weekends I think my total might be a little high. We'll see.

Got my last month Longs rebate for $3.00 in the mail and got this month's Walgreens rebate for $4.98 + the $10 Pepsi rebate ready to send tomorrow.

Made a car payment so only have 4 more to go till it's paid for. About 3 years ago I decided to buy a new car. I had the cash saved up, but the dealership was offering 0% financing for 3 years so I decided to keep my cash and finance the car. Because interest rates have been so low the last few years I will only make about $700 in interest over the 3 year period. But even if interest rates were higher I don't think I would refinance at 0% again. I HATE having a car payment every month. It just nags at me. Every month I think I already have this car I've been driving it for x number of months, why am I still paying for it? I don't know why this gets to me so much but it does. Maybe it's because I've been out of debt except for my house for close to 20 years now and I just can't stand it. I've been counting down every month since this started, very aggravating. Smile

movie with niece

July 26th, 2005 at 08:11 pm

Took my youngest niece to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Cute movie. Spent $10.25 Then we went to Taco Bell for dinner, (her favorite) and spent $7.79. I don't count this as eating at a fast food restaraunt. It goes under the time spent with nieces category of my budget.

On the way home I stopped at Walgreens and bought this months FARs and sales. Had a 50 cent coupon on one item so even better than free Smile Spent $8.98. Will get $5.48 of this back in rebates.

Total spent for this month = $304.55


July 25th, 2005 at 08:08 pm

walked with mom for 45 min

Finished listening to A Rake's Vow by Stephanie Laurens. Romance. Good book.
Watched The Incredibles that I borrowed from the libraray. Cute movie.

Sent for my Sargento's Bistro cheese rebate $2.99 finally used up all the cheese so I could get to the UPC.

After some research decided not to buy the computer from Circuit City. Doesn't have hardly any software and I would have to spend about $200 to get what I want, so I'll just wait till the right deal comes along. If it's not back to school there will be good deals at Christmas.

sister's b-day

July 24th, 2005 at 09:13 pm

walked with mom 55 min

Got my mail this morning and the discounted credit cards I purchased Wednesday came. So it took about 3 days. Also got the form from Great Fun to fill out for the $20 Gift Card for Exxon/Mobile. Filled it out and sent it.

Went to Safeway this morning for produce and a newspaper. Saved 30% on sales. Spent $9.44
Next went to Albertson's just to get corn on the cob also on sale and spent $2.00
Then went to Longs where my sunflower seeds were 30% off and spent $4.95
All of these stores were on my way so I didn't make any special trips, just start and stop.

Next stop was Media Play. It was a triple points day. If you don't know Media Play has a program were you join their replay club for $7.95 and get 1 pt for every dollar you spend. When you spend 100 dollars you get a $5 rebate. However on triple points days, which happen about once a month, you get triple points or about 15% back on each dollar spent. I only shop their on triple points days and I also get 4% back by using my Nesteggz credit card. If you decide to buy a membership only buy a one year one because on triple points days they renew the membership for free. I didn't know that and bought a two year membership Frown I buy a lot of their stuff around xmas and for the nieces birthdays. They like computer games and CDs. I also buy several books each month for myself. I had a $5 rebate so after the rebate I spent $18.33 and I'll get 19% of that back in rebates.

After Media Play I met my family at Macaroni Grill for my sister's b-day. My parents paid for everyone so no out of pocket money.

Total money spent for month so far = $277.59

Circuit City has an AMD Sempron laptop for $549 and it has all the bells and whistles I've been looking for. I've saved up for a new laptop in my short-term savings fund and I've just been waiting for the right deal. I'm going to do some more research on it tomorrow and will probably buy it Wednesday after work.

I read Stolen Magic by M. J. Putney Romance/Fantasy It was pretty good. Good mindless read by which I mean it keeps your attention but doesn't force you to think to hard Smile


July 23rd, 2005 at 12:02 pm

walked with mom for 55 min

This was a money moving day. I took my 2nd paycheck this month and the $1000 I was planning to save this month and some money left from last month and put $3000 in the Vanguard Growth Index Fund. 1 1/4 more months of retirement purchased WOOHOO Smile

Then I transfered the money I have saved for my short-term goals and my Extra Fund to my new ING account. Then I transfered the money I have saved for my property taxes, car and house insurance to my new PayPal money account.

Stopped at McDonalds for an ice cream cone after walking with mom last night so spent $1.06. Well worth it, it's been miserably hot here, Colorado. Supposed to get some rain in the next few days so hope it gets better.

Total spending this month = $242.87

Read House of Gaian by Anne Bishop. Sci/Fi Good book, 3rd of a trilogy.

Great Fun

July 21st, 2005 at 08:35 pm

Walked with mom for 55 min today.

Went to the library and picked up more holds and read this month Money magazine.

Signed up at the following site. If you sign up for $1 for 2 months they send you a $20 ExxonMobil Cash Card. They have discounts on restaurants, movies, theme parks, local tourist or entertainment discounts, (like for bowling or miniature golf) travel deals, car care deals etc. I found a few restaurant things that I will probably get in the 2 month time frame. If you decide to continue with the program it is $9.99 a month. I expect I will cancel after 2 months and just get my $20 card for $1 plus whatever restaurant coupons I like.


Edited to add the $1 to my total spending for the month = $241.81

Gift Certificates

July 20th, 2005 at 08:47 pm

Walked with mom for 45 min and fixed dinner afterwards instead of succuming to fast-food. Smile

Got my June Walgreen's rebates in the mail today. Also got my 401K statement, didn't do so good this last quarter, the overall is up, but it's mostly due to my contributions not increases in the value of the assets. Oh well, hopefully the stock market will rev up the last 6 months like it did last year. And at least it's still a gain, better than a loss.

Finished listening to All About Love by Stephanie Laurens. Romance. Very good book. Another favorite author.

I also finished reading The Hallowed Hunt by Lois McMaster Bujold. Sci Fi. Another very good book by another favorite author.

I found a website that sells Gift Cerficates at a discount of up to 14% off. You don't have to register or sign-up or make monthly payments. The selection changes often but I have seen all of the following on the site, Target, KMart, Barnes and Noble, Bed Bath and Beyond, Home Depot, Lowes, Sears, Penny's, Red Lobster, Outback, Kohl's, Toys R Us, Circuit City, Staples and Amazon to name a few.

Today I bought 4 $25 Gift Cards for Outback for $88 a 12% discount and 4 $25 Gift Cards for KMart for $84 a 16% discount. However, I'm not counting that money as spent yet, I will count it spent when I use the cards. The shipping was free. I prefer the casual buying of cards at a site like this instead of bidding on ebay or joining a club and paying monthly dues.

Here's the site if anyone else is interested.


Credit Cards

July 19th, 2005 at 09:10 pm

Went into work this morning, but had such a bad headache and watery eyes from allergies I came back home early. Took more allergy pills and took a nap and the headache eventually went away about 3:00 pm.

Bad day for eating out. Everyone has budget areas where they struggle and eating out is definitely mine. Went to Sonic for lunch and spent $7.93 then my mom called and wanted to go out to dinner before we walked so went to Rosie's Dinner and spent $10.00. Paid for that two ways, it was so hot and Iwas so full it was miserable to walk tonight. We only walked 50 min today.

Total spent this month so far = $240.81

Verified my ING Account was activated today and transfered some money to the account. Also got my $30 bonus which will go in my Extra Fund for my Canada trip.

I finished listening to the Three Fates by Nora Roberts on the way home from work. Very good book. It's a Romance. She's one of my favorite authors. Always tells a great story, with good characters and good dialog.

I also finished reading Financial Peace by Dave Ramsey. I agree with his general premise that everyone would be better off without debt, however, I have a hard time with his tone. That I know what's right for everyone and if you don't agree you're stupid tone. Drives me nuts. He thinks everyone should have no debt including their house and I think that's a great goal to strive for, however, I have decided not to pay my house off just yet because I think it makes more financial sense to invest the money where I get a better return than the 4.5% interest I pay on my house. And that's before the tax break, so I'm really only paying 3.15% interest.

The other area where I disagree is he thinks it's stupid for anyone to use credit cards. His presumption is that people who use credit cards, even when they pay them off in full each month, spend more than people who use cash. I know that's not true in my case because I charge almost everything on credit cards and I stick to my budget so I know I'm not spending more than I planned. Also I use rebate credit cards which return some of the money back to me for using them to pay for things, so I actually come out ahead using credit cards over paying cash.

I have three credit cards that I use depending on what I'm buying. None of the cards have annual fees and they are all paid in full every month. The first card is used for all gas, grocery and drugstore purchases. The card gives a 5% rebate on all purchases made at these type of stores. I've received $80 in rebates from this card in the last year, just for doing my normal shopping.

The next credit card is one that pays 1% back on everything you purchase. It also pays 3% for all purchases made at Media Play or Sam Goody's where I shop at least once a month. I have several of my monthly bills charged to this card to get the 1% rebate and so I don't have to pay out postage to pay the bill. I find this a convenient way to track my spending and I've gotten $120 rebated back on this credit card in the last year.

My third credit card is a Discover card and they have various promotions each month that pay a % back. They pay back up to 1% on all purchases and then they have a promotion that might pay 5% on restaurant charges or like this month gas and tourist attractions. So for this month all my gas purchases will go on this card. Once you get $20 in rebates built up you can convert the money to gift cards up to double the amount depending on the reward you want. I usually exchange my $20 cash for a $25 gift card at Borders. I've gotten 3 $25 Borders gift cards in the last year from this card.

So just by buying the things I would buy anyways, but using the reward cards I've made $275 in the last year alone. So I guess he can call me stupid, but I've got $275 more than I would have following his advice.

Savings bonds

July 18th, 2005 at 08:34 pm

walked with mom for 55 min

While my sister and BIL make a lot of money they are the type of people who will always spend more than they make, so my parents and I knew they would have very little, if any, money saved for my nieces college. I feel that college is a necessity for the majority of kids these days. So my parents and I started saving money for their colleges when they were very little.

I decided to save $10,000.00 each (I have 2) and made that goal a couple years ago. All of the money is currently in stock index funds. My oldest niece is 14 so there's only 4 more years till she goes to college so I put $5000.00 of her college money into I-Bonds today. Currently they are paying 4.8%.

The reasons I decided on I-Bonds are:

1. The money is only locked up for one year after that I can get to it whenever I want with a 3-month interest penalty if it's before 5 years. After 5 years there are no interest penalties.
2. The interest rate is competitive with CDs. Compare 1 year CD with 1 year bond
3. I don't have to pay taxes on the interest until I cash the bonds in
4. I never have to pay state taxes on the bonds
5. It's very secure I don't have to worry about the value suddenly tanking right when I need it for my nieces college costs.
6. If inflation rates goes up, my interest rates will go up also.
7. I used Treasury Direct and I didn't have to pay anything to buy the bonds.

Over the next few years I plan to gradually move all of their college money into I-bonds.

good article

July 17th, 2005 at 08:25 pm

walked with mom for 55 min

Bought a Sunday paper for $1. Total spending for month is now $222.88

Read The Autumn Castle by Kim Wilkins. Kind of a modern day fairy tale, rather weird book. Wouldn't recommend it.

I did find a good article about spending on the web. The author gives a good description of what most people on this website do to save money in their everyday lives. I enjoyed this article and several of the other ones on her website too.


erands and chores day

July 16th, 2005 at 09:02 pm

Had a lot of errands to do today so left home a little after 9:00 am

First stop was the bank. Deposited my stock checks, a rebate check and a roll of quarters. A little over a year ago I started putting all my unbudgeted for money in a fund I call my extra fund. I put all my rebate checks, loose change (I save quarters and dimes), money for selling things, interest on the checking account, and any other bits and pieces of money that comes my way outside of my paycheck. This money is not budgeted for and I decided I would use it only for wants. Currently the money is earmarked for my vacation to Canada next year. In a little over a year I have over $900 in this fund. It's amazing how much all the little extras add up to.

After the bank I went to Longs to buy HBAs. I used my $5 off $25 purchase coupon from the Entertainment book. Spent $27.28

Next I went to Bed, Bath n Beyond and bought a cordless broom. Spent $25.77 with a gift card. I don't know how the rest of you track this, but I track the money I spend when I make a purchase with the gift card and not when I buy the gift card. It's easier for me to track by categories that way. Especially with cards that might be used for food, clothing or other mixed categories.

Next stop was KMart. Got 6 pairs of underware for $4.78. This was a really good buy, they were on clearance. Also bought two t-shirts for $10 apiece. Total at KMart = $26.59

I stopped at Red Robin to pick up a jar of their seasoning. I love this stuff and use it on most everything I cook. I especially like it on baked potatoes instead of butter. Paid $3.22 for 16 oz jar

Stopped at Wendy's for lunch $5.35

Next was Walgreens where I got 4 12-packs of diet Pepsi for $10.00. I'll get the whole $10.00 back on that for the Pepsi rebate. Also got 4 rolls of papertowels for $2. Total = $12.15 paid for with a gift card.

Albertson's was next where I spent $7.85 mostly produce that was on sale. I did pick up my free loaf of french bread that I got for doing their survey and I also got the Sargento Bistro cheese for which I have a rebate and will get $3.00 back on.

On the way home stopped at King Soopers. Spent $7.99 Saved 23% on the bill. Got a free bottle of Suave shampoo with a doubled coupon.

Finally made it home around 1:00 and put everything away. Then went to mom and dad's to pick up mail and paper and water flowers.

Came back home did a load of laundry and took a nap. Fixed taco salad for supper from the leftover taco meat from last night then cleaned the kitchen. Plan to read and relax for the rest of the night.

We like to play Yahtzee in our family so I printed off Yahtzee score cards from a website.

Total Spent so far this month = $221.88


July 15th, 2005 at 10:07 pm

Went to the library to pick up my holds and return other books.

Went to moms to get the mail, newspaper and water the flowers. It rained for at least an hour before I got off work so their paper was soaked.

Made a list of chores/errands I want to do tomorrow.

Made Tacos for supper.

Opened an account with ING Direct - thanks to another journalist for the link.

Opened an account with PayPal

Opened an account with Treasury Direct

Listened to Trust Me by Jayne Ann Krentz on tape today. Romance. Good story, made the day go faster.

reading till midnight

July 15th, 2005 at 07:13 am

No walking yesterday. Instead I read a really good book. The invisable Ring by Anne Bishop. Sci/Fi It was so good I read till midnight and then didn't get anything done. Now I'm tired this morning. But it was worth it. We got a good rainstorm around 11:00 pm so that cooled things down some too.

Fast food 2

July 14th, 2005 at 07:16 am

Wednesday walked with mom for 55 min.

It's just too hot to eat in the early evening so I wait till after we walk then eat at 9:00 by which time I'm starving. So gave in to the fast food thing again. Bad! Bad! Bad! Spent $5.15 at McDonalds. I need to figure out a way around this aside from pure willpower Smile

Total spent this month = 121.02

Read Frugal Families by Jonni McCoy. I didn't think it was that good. Boring and the information is just a rehash of the things most people already know.

Also read Into the Looking Glass by John Ringo. Sci/Fi Military. It was ok, not as good as some of his other books.

I've been feeling kind of Blah lately. Not a lot of energy, just sort of drifting through the day. Don't know why, but hope it goes away soon.

Fast food day

July 12th, 2005 at 09:04 pm

Mom and I aren't walking till 7:30 pm now because it's so hot. I don't like to walk right after eating because I find it very uncomfortable, so today instead of eating at 5:30 when I wasn't very hungry I decided to have a snack and eat when I got home from walking. That was a mistake. We walked for 45 min today and by the time I got done I was really hungry. I had to get gas because I was running on fumes so I went to Safeway and got gas. Spent $23.05 gas was 2.22 a gallon - totally ridiculous. And then mom asked me to pick up toll-house cookie dough since she needs to bake for their camping trip this weekend. She'll pay me back so I don't count that money.

Well by then I was really hungry so I stopped at Taco Bell and got dinner. Spent 6.17. Oh well it's only the first time this month which is really good for me.

Total spent this month = $115.87

I'm going to water the plants and pick up the mail for my parents while they go camping this weekend so my mom bought me some address labels for payment. ARGHH! they don't have to pay me to help them. Some of the other kids won't help without pay, but I find it slightly insulting that they even think they need to offer. But she can't use the labels so I might as well take them and use them. Frown

I had told mom I wanted to look for them and print my own so I wouldn't have a ton of them if I moved so she saw them and bought them today. 2000 labels for about $10.00. Maybe when I figure out how to do them I'll make up some for her, since she wants some with just her name on them instead of Mr and Mrs.

I listened to This Time Love by Elizabeth Lowell while working today. Romance. Very good, but very emotional.

I finally gave in and turned the A/C on today. It ran for a couple of hours this afternoon. Can't stand that 90 degree heat. My preferred weather is between 40 and 60. 70 is getting warm to me.


July 11th, 2005 at 09:02 pm

Walked with mom for 58 minutes today, slowed down after yesterday.

Nothing much happening today. Worked, walked, ate, read. Went to the library and got some more books that were on hold.

Finished listening to Sword of Shanara by Terry Brooks. I've been listening to this one for a week now, it had 17 tapes. It's a Sci Fi fantasy story similar to Lord of the Rings. Pretty good. Put a hold on the second one from the library.

This is supposed to be a warm week. They are calling for 90 degree + weather all week. May have to finally turn the A/C on.

Miniatures with niece

July 10th, 2005 at 08:48 pm

Walked with mom for 52 min. I think we're getting faster Smile

Got and read the newspaper $1.00
Chopped veggies for the week and cleaned the Kitchen.

My oldest niece came over this afternoon. One of my hobbies is making miniature rooms. She enjoys this hobby also. What little girl doesn't enjoy playing with dollhouses? Smile We worked on a project she's been working on for awhile. It's a ladies dressing room. Then we did a little bit on a project I've been working on for awhile. A deck barbeque. We both enjoyed the time spent together.

I took her to Village Inn for dinner and we got pie to go to eat later. Spent $24.31. Then we came back to my house and watched Grease. She'd never seen the whole movie. It's one of my favorites so I have the video. We ate our pie and then I took her home around 8:30.

Total spent this month so far = $86.65

cream soup mix recipe

July 9th, 2005 at 09:07 pm

Walked with mom for 55 min.

Got my check for the stocks I sold on Tuesday. Also got a certificate for $5 off at Media Play.

Cleaned master bath.

Went to grocery store and spent 24.69. Saved 14% buying sell items, not so good. Bought mostly produce, but also splurged on a frozen pizza. Had the pizza for dinner.

Total for month = 61.34

Finished reading Cheap Talk with the Fruagl Friends by Angie Zalewski and Deana Ricks. It was an average saving book. It did have two good ideas though and anytime I learn something new the book is worth reading.

Idea number 1 was to ask places that develop photos from disposable cameras what they do with the AA batteries. They said one place gave them the discarded batteries for free and they bought 10 batteries for a $1 from Wal-Mart. All the batteries were still good. I'll have to ask next time I'm in that kind of store.

Idea number 2 was a recipe to make a dry mix to which you add water to make a cream soup.

2 1/2 cups flour
2 cups dry milk
1/2 cup bouillon posder
2 tbls onion powder
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp pepper

To make soup combine 1/2 c mix with 1 1/2 cups water to make the equivalent of 1 can of cream soup.

I also read Killing Floor by Lee Child. A mystery. It was pretty good - a fast read.

financial organization

July 8th, 2005 at 09:11 pm

Walked with mom 55 min. Fixed the brats and rice I got from SHARE. Grilled the brats and then added them to the rice. Have to say I'm not fond of the brats, it's a kind of fatty meat and has a strong flavor. Oh well, I have two more meals of it to go since I have leftovers.

Periodically throughout the year I review my finances and investments. Today I updated my financial organizer book. I created this book that contains a snapshot of my finances, my bills, who to contact for utilities, credit cards etc. Anything financial that I want information about in one place. Also good if someone needs the information if I'm incapacitated or dead. I started this a couple of years ago after reading a great book called Organize Your Personal Finances Turn Chaos Into Cash by Jean Ross Peterson. This book is really easy to read and has a great system for tracking all the financial/household pieces of paper that come into your life. It's only a 118 pages but it has a lot of great ideas in it.

I also read The Twelfth Card by Jeffery Deaver. Great Book. A Mystery. Good Characters and good story line.


July 7th, 2005 at 08:15 pm

Walked with mom 55 min. She invited me to dinner because the nieces were there again and it was huge. Steak, baked potatoes, corn, salad and garlicf bread. Ate way too much. Brought a piece of banana cream pie home with me since I didn't have room for it.

Went to the library and picked up some more holds. I really need to get some reading done, the holds are coming in too fast. I did finish reading Rich dad's cashflow quadrant : employee, self-employed, business owner or investor-- which is the best quadrant for you? by Robert Kiyosaki. It was interesting. I don't really buy into his theory that anyone can/should become a real-estate investor or a business owner, but it's always interesting reading about how people change their lives and start making money.

I'm looking for a new dentist since I want to get my teeth cleaned in the next couple months. My old one retired. I've called several dentists in the area and no one will clean my teeth without giving x-rays first. I don't think I need x-rays everytime I have my teeth cleaned and I certainly don't want to pay for them. Last time it was $150.00 what a rip off. I found a website that lists dental schools but unfortunately there aren't any in my area. The site is listed below. I'll keep trying to find a solution, but I'll have to get my teeth cleaned one way or another before the end of the year.


no fast food day

July 6th, 2005 at 09:03 pm

Went into town today to work. Stopped at the Dollar store on the way home and spent $11.57 on food items, mostly spices. I did get 2 8.5oz cans of salted peanuts, which seems like a good deal. I just recently started using peanuts as a snack so I don't have a good idea of prices yet.

Walked with mom for 55 min.

I was very proud of myself for not stopping at the fast food place for dinner on the way home, which I normally do when I go into work. I also fixed and took my lunch into work - Need an icon for a pat on the back here Smile

Total spending for the month $36.65

50% return on investment

July 5th, 2005 at 08:13 pm

Thanks to whomever for the pretty stars Smile

After walking with mom last night for 55 min stopped at the grocery store for mayo and eggs. Spent $4.98. I really hate making special trips to buy something especially when I know I can get it cheaper if I could just wait till it's on sale. Oh well, that will teach me to keep on top of my pantry items better.

Total this month is now $25.08

Great fireworks show last night. I could see works from both directions in my house.

Today I sold my stock from my company purchase plan. They started this last Aug and the first offering lasted till December. They allow you to buy stocks at a min of 15% of the list price based on either the starting day or ending day of the offering period, whichever is cheaper. Well we were just coming out of bankruptcy last year and hardly anybody took them up on the offering. I did because it was a guaranteed 15% return on my money. I ended up making 64%.

So this year they offered it again and I signed up again. It was supposed to be for 6 months, but they cut it off at 3 months because a lot of people signed up this time around and the stock was going up so I think it was going to cost too much if they let it go the whole 6 months. So anyways I made 50% this time. I'm extremely happy about that return and just wish I could get that kind of return on all my investments. (Don't we all!)

After work I went to mom's and walked 40 min. My dad mentioned he needed deodorant last time I was there so I gave him the deodorant I got free from Walgreens last month along with the toothbrush. Also when I went grocery shopping on Saturday I got a can of Pork and Beans that they paid me 46 cents to buy so I gave that to them also. Beans were on sale for 34 cents and I had a coupon for 40 cents that was doubled.

Someone stole the birdfeeder that I bought a couple of weeks ago. Boo Hoo Frown So now I have a bag of birdseed that I'm going to give to my parents also. I'm not going to buy another one, since I figure that one would get stolen too.

I finished reading Windwalker by Natasha Mostert. Not sure how to describe this one, I guess romance/thriller. Very hard to read, slow story, unlikable characters. I kept thinking it would get better and it never did.

frugal books

July 5th, 2005 at 10:05 am

I just found this site that has a list of frugal books sorted by type - general lifestyle, building & repairs and maintenance, personal finance, housing, gardening & food & cooking, unusual stuff

If you're looking for money saving books you might find something on this list


lazy day

July 4th, 2005 at 06:09 pm

I ran out of steam on my cleaning spree so the master bath didn't get done today. Oh well, there is always tomorrow, or the next day, or the next day.... Smile

Made shrimp and linguine with garlic bread for dinner, very good. I'm not much of a cook so I tend to pick very quick and easy meals with only a few ingredients.

I don't know what happened since I almost always have duplicates in my pantry, but I totally ran out of mayonnaise today. I wanted to make a tuna salad to take into work on Wednesday. I'm supposed to go walk with mom in a few minutes and I'm debating about stopping in the grocery store and picking some up. It might be on sale this week I don't know. I usually buy it when it's on sale or I have a coupon, but I really want some, so might just get the least expensive jar. Need some eggs too, if I stop.

It's getting cloudy now but hope it clears up so I can see the fireworks tonight.


July 3rd, 2005 at 08:24 pm

Got and read the Sunday paper this morning $1.25

Total spent this month so far - $20.10

Chopped up all my veggies for the week.

Cleaned the downstairs master bedroom, dining room, living room and powder room. I have to admit it is nicer when it's clean.

Took a short nap. I love weekends because I can take naps. I don't sleep that well most nights and usually I'm tired all week. Weekends give me a chance to catch up on my sleep.

Read We Few by David Weber and John Ringo. Sci Fi/Fantasy Good book, fourth in a series. Has very good characters and good dialog which is one of my main criteria in judging fiction.

Fixed a salmon fllet and potato salad for dinner. I got the potato salad recipe from the foodnetwork.com and it was really good, very simple also.

Farmer's market

July 2nd, 2005 at 09:32 pm

Went to a near-by farmer's market this morning. Spent $5.50 on produce (celery, green onions and tomoatoes). Then went to the grocery store and spent $13.38. Mostly on produce again. Between coupons and sales I saved $14.14 or 51%.

Total spent this month so far = $18.88

Went to the library and picked up some more holds. A bunch of stuff came in all at once so I have a lot of reading to do. I estimate the library is saving me $200 - $250 a month. I read 4 - 5 books a week, I listen to at least one book on tape a week. I read 3 - 4 magazines a month and I get CDs and movies on occassion. Plus it's so convenient, I can put things on hold online and pick them up only a mile away.

I cleaned the upstairs - two bedrooms and a bath. I'm pretty satisfied with the choices I've made about my spending overall. I don't miss very much and am content with what I have. But if I were to suddenly have a lot of money there is one area where I would definitely spend more - Cleaning! I had a cleaning lady a few years ago but I decided it wasn't worth $2000 a year so I've been doing it myself and I really, really, really hate it. But for now early retirement is a more pressing goal so I force myself to clean instead of hiring it out. I really loved having a cleaning person and having the whole house clean for a few hours at least. I pretty much clean in shifts since it's just me. One area one week, one area another week, so the whole house is never all clean at the same time, but life's too short to spend all weekend cleaning. Although that's a big part of my plans for this weekend since I went to long between cleanings this time and I can't stand it any longer Frown

I finished Declare Your Financial Independence by Cindy McIntyre. It had some good information but it's a difficult read, kind of boring. It's based on the principles in Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominquez and Vicki Robin.

I also read Close to You by Christing Dodd, it's a romance/mystery book. Pretty good, a good popcorn book. That's how I describe a book without a lot of substance but relaxing and entertaining just the same.

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