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Archive for August, 2005

Aug goals

August 31st, 2005 at 07:46 pm

walked 45 min with mom

Went to Taco Bell and spent $7.12

Total for the month = $309.89

Here's the breakdown for the month

Groceries = 151.59
Fast Food = 31.50
Restaurants = 23.33
Nieces = 1.45
Clothes = 0
Books = 0
Gas = 46.72
HBAs = 17.46
Entertainment = 0
Other = 37.84

Gifts = 145.44 - (not included in the $400 budget)

My goals for Aug were

1. Only spend $400 for groceries, gas, entertainment, clothes, household basics and misc.
Did really well on this goal $90 under budget

2. Walk at least 15 times this month for at least 30 minutes each time.
Done

3. Only go to fast-food restaurants four times and only eat at regular restaurants four times.
Missed this by 1 for the fast-food and was one under for restaurants so evened out

4. Save $880 above my 401K contribution
Saved $1135 + my bonus of 865 for $2000 total

5. Cook meals at least 2 times a week.
Done

So made 4 out of 5 goals and could call the 3rd one a draw.

Also computed my networth and it went up 1.8% last month. A lot of my stock funds fell due to the hurricane and gas prices. Oh well, at least it didn't decrease.

Finished listening to the library book on tape The Ideal Bride by Stephanie Laurens. Romance. Very good

A/C again

August 30th, 2005 at 08:39 pm

walked with mom for 55 min

It was so hot today, it was 89 degrees, but since I drove into work my car sat outside all day and when I got in the car I couldn't even touch the seatbelt clasp to close it, it was burning my fingers. When I got home I turned the A/C back on, I was wilting. Wanted to leave it off for the rest of the year but couldn't make it. Part of the problem was it got really hot after a couple weeks of much cooler weather, we didn't build up to the heat making it more bearable.

Stopped at Walgreens on the way into work and used my new Visa card, so now it goes in a drawer till I get my $100. Spent $5.09 on packing tape, sunflower seeds and a banana nut muffin.

Before leaving work I checked http://www.ahding.com/cheapgas/ for the best gas prices. There was a King Soopers by work that was within a penny or so of the cheapest prices, plus I had 10 cents off with my Sooper card so I went there. Paid 2.49/gal for a total of $25.49. I was just recently complaining because I paid more than $20 for a fill-up and now it's $25. I know the hurricane is raising prices and I know they always go up before a holiday weekend and it's still only a few dollars more per month, but it's so rapid it seems like a bigger hit than it really is.

Stopped at Wendy's on the way home for supper and got a Chili for tomorrows lunch also. Spent $7.13

Total spent so far this month = $302.77

new CC

August 29th, 2005 at 08:16 pm

walked with mom 55 min

Sent off my August Walgreens rebate for $10.00. This was a great deal, buy $10 worth and get $10 back, plus I had a buy one get 1 free coupon on 1 item and 50 cents off the other item so ended up getting 3 items free + 50 cents + 10% more for using the Walgreens card + 5% more for using a CC that rewards for drugstore purchases. So instead of spending 13.49 I get 3 free items + $1.25 cash. Good deal Smile

Got my new Sony Visa card, it's supposed to give me $100 after the first use. Don't know when I'll use it though maybe tomorrow when I go into work, but don't think I need to buy anything except gas and I plan to use my Discover card for that since it's giving 5% back till Aug 31. Maybe I'll think of something I need on the way in tomorrow Smile

relaxing Sunday

August 28th, 2005 at 08:18 pm

walked with mom 55 min

Went to the grocery store and got the newspaper as well as a few fill in items, like milk, grapes, radishes, green onions and salmon. Spent $15.28

Total spent so far this month = $265.06 If I only get gas this week I might keep it under $300 for the month

Spent the morning cleaning the kitchen and chopping veggies for the week. Took a long nap in the afternoon, it felt great I must have needed it. I usually only sleep about an hour on weekend naps, but I slept for 2 1/2 hours today. So I probably won't sleep tonight. Smile

Summer's almost over so it's almost to my favorite part of the year. It's cooler, but there's still some greenery, plus a lot of new colors everywhere. Makes me feel great.

I finished reading the library book Crystal Soldier by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. Sci Fi. Good Book. She always creates great characters and has great interactions between characters.

nieces

August 27th, 2005 at 09:09 pm

Went to Home Depot this morning and got 6 furnace filters at .56 cents apiece. Spent $3.59 a whole lot better than $8 apiece.

Next picked up my SHARE order. I got a Jr order this time for $11.00 which I already accounted for.

I got the following items

8 oz. Chicken nuggets
15 oz. Boneless chicken breast fillets
7 oz. Italian meat balls
1 lb. carrots
1 Head lettuce
3 ea. Yellow onions
6 ea. Colorado Potatoes
2 ea. Tomatoes
1 ea. Rocky Ford Cantaloupe
5 ea. Colorado Peaches

Pretty good haul for $11 Smile

Total spent this month = $249.78

My BIL and sister went out to eat and a movie to celebrate thier anniversay so I got the nieces from 3 - 10 today.
We watched Finding Neverland which I borrowed from the library. It was a good movie, but sad. The girls liked it too. We went to Subway for supper. Sister gave me $20 and I spent $21.45 but didn't tell her, I don't like her paying me anyways.

I listened to the library CD Loco Motion by Cowboy Troy. I liked a couple of the songs a lot, and the rest were just ok. That's why I like to watch the Sunday papers for new releases of movies and CDs and then borrow them from the library before deciding to buy. Saves me a ton of money.

procrastination can pay off

August 26th, 2005 at 08:35 pm

walked with mom 55 min

I had a busy money day. First I sold my first book on half.com for $3.00. Now I need some advice from people who have done this before. I went to the post office after work and mailed the book using Media Mail but I only used a Delivery Confirmation reciept that cost .55 cents intead of the insurance and tracking reciept for 1.45 it seems ridiculous to me to insure a $3.00 book. If it was $5+ I think I would go ahead and insure it. What does everyone else do?

Spent $1.97 postage and confirmation reciept.

Total spend so far this month = $244.74

I sent $2000.00 to my Vanguard Growth Index fund. The $880 I planned to save this month + $865 from my bonus and a little bit more I had sitting around added up to the $2000.00

Made another car payment so now I only have 3 left. Woohoo!

Got my package from UFB Direct and verified my money was deposited. Expect the $25 bonus in a couple weeks.

Before I started this journal here I didn't know financial blogs existed. In the last couple of months I've been reading some blogs on other websites. When I find one I like I read the past blogs. Today I found one I really like called Personal Finance for the New Age.

http://newagepf.blogspot.com/

While I was reading the past logs I found a link to open an ING account and get $50, and you don't need a referral. I sure wish I had known about this before I opened my account. I guess sometimes it pays to procrastinate Smile This is only for new accounts. I sent the links to my sister since she hasn't opened accounts for the girls yet. Don't know if she'll do this or not.

Anyways here's the info if anyone else can use it.

http://www.ingdirect.com/taxcut/

enter the code 58978755

This code is valid until 12/31/05.



another fast food trip

August 25th, 2005 at 08:22 pm

walked 45 min with mom

Went to McDonalds afterwards it was almost 8 and I was hungry. Bad timing. Spent 7.24

Total spent so far this month = $242.77

I haven't had to run the A/C for almost a month now. We've had rain or clouds almost every afternoon which cools it down enough with the ceiling fan that I don't need the A/C. I turned it off altogether today and hope I can keep it off. Now the plan is not to turn the furnace on till the end of October.

Finished reading the library book Harshini by Jennifer Fallon. Sci Fi. Third in the series. It was a good series I enjoyed it.

Best wishes to anyone in the path of the hurricane.

errands

August 24th, 2005 at 08:38 pm

Went into work today. Stopped at the bread store on the way home and spent $3.78. Next stop was the bank where I deposited a rebate check and some rolled coins into my account. This will add another $20 to my Extra Fund.

I went to Kmart next for household items. When did furnace/air filters start costing $8+ ? I remember buying them for about $1. That's ridiculous. Especially if you change them every month the way they want you to. I don't change them that often, instead I look at them and change them when they are dirty. I went out looking on the Home Depot website and they have them for $1.81 each. Much better. I need to stop by and pick some up this weekend. I drive right by there on the way to pick up my SHARE order.

I bought an electric timer from KMart for $6.29. This weekend I'll plug my hot water heater into it and turn the heater off between 11:00 pm and 7:00 am and see if that saves me some electric/gas costs.

I spent $13.87 at Kmart but I used my discounted gift cards at 12% off so it really only cost me $12.20, but that's too complicated to figure out every time so I'm just going to use the $13.87 figure in my totals. I'll have a few extra dollars show up in my checking account over time. As long as I'm not overspending I don't care about tracking every dollar that goes in and out of my life, just most of them Smile

Next stop was Souper Salad. I love this place. For $6.22 I get 3 meals. I always get it to go, because you get a lot more than what you can eat in the restaurant. I get a big styrofoam container that I put a huge salad with all the veggies, eggs and sunflower seeds as well as a baked potato, that's tonight's supper. Then I get two soup containers so I get two large bowls of soups for lunchs, I got Baked potato soup and Adobe Chicken today. Then I get a container for the salad dressing and one for the bread. I get 3 pieces of the blueberry bread and have one with each meal. For eating out 2.07 per meal is a real bargain.

Total spent so far this month = $235.53 looking real good to keep under $400

Last stop on the way home was the library to pick up more holds.

I finished listening to the library book on tape On a Wild Night by Stephanie Laurens. Romance. Very good. Another in her series of stories about the Cynsters.

I got a bonus!

August 23rd, 2005 at 08:32 pm

My work has an individual contributor award that they give to employees who accomplish alot and are nominated by thier supervisors. I got the award for the first half of the year. $1755.00 that's a weird number and I don't know what it's based on, but I'll definitely take it, or at least half of it. Smile Taxes and deductions were 51%. I get $865.90 take home. About $300 of it went to my 401K so I'll max that out early this year and will get some more of it in December. Either way I was pretty happy about it, not just for the money, but for the fact that my work was recognized. I plan to put it and this months savings into a mutual fund this weekend.

I had a hamburger, potato salad and sliced tomato for supper.

Tomato = 20 cents

Potato Salad = 45 cents

Hamburger = 1.16
1/3 lb hamburger = 33 cents based on 99 cents/lb
Large english muffin = 67 cents based on 4 for 2.69
1 slice cheese = 6 cents based on 16 for a $1
mayo, ketchup, salt, pepper, red robin seasoning, onion and tomato slice = 10 cents - guesstimate

Total for dinner = $1.81

Read my book Master of the Moon by Angela Knight. Fantasy/Romance Pretty good book. A popcorn book.

I sent referrals to both my nieces for ING and if their mom sets up the accounts for them will give them my $10 referral bonus. I explained the deal to her and she said she would look into it. If she lets the girls do it, they could both get $45 for their $1. $25 for signing up, my $10 referral and then each girl could refer one parent for another $10. I hope she follows through on it.

Have to go into work tomorrow so made tuna salad to take along with crackers and grapes. I've had a funny stomach all last night and today, don't know what's wrong. Hope it's not a flu bug or something like that.

peanut butter slices?

August 22nd, 2005 at 08:02 pm

I was watching a show on Food Network about lunch foods and they showed peanut butter slices. They are just like cheese slices only made out of peanut butter. I've never seen them in my stores and wouldn't buy them anyways, I like extra crunchy peanut butter. But I just thought it was a weird thing.

I finished listening to the library book on tape Four to Score by Janet Evanovich. Mystery. Very good. Very funny. I love the main character Stephanie Plum. This series is pee-your-pants-laughing funny. It's dangerous to listen to this while driving my car Smile

I found a website where you can print graph paper today. I thought that was a neat idea for last minute school projects. Unless you're taking geometry or achitecture who needs to buy a whole pad of graph paper? Although while I was waiting for my townhome to get built I went through tons of graph paper organizing furniture in the rooms. But by the time it was built I knew exactly what I wanted and where it would go.

http://www.incompetech.com/beta/plainGraphPaper/

Harry Potter rocks!

August 21st, 2005 at 08:41 pm

walked with mom for 55 min.

Bought a paper this morning for $1.25 there were 3 coupons in there for $2.50 that I could have used when I went shopping for groceries on Friday. I bought the exact same items Frown That's why I usually wait to shop for groceries till after I read the Sunday paper. Oh well, I'll have to remember for next time.

There was an article in the paper that compared all 3 of the local grocery stores to Wal-Mart and said Wal-Mart beats all of the other's prices overall even after using the store cards to buy sales items at the regular grocery stores. All the regular grocery stores admitted that they can't match Wal-Marts prices but said they can compete with service etc. I don't know about that. I don't use Wal-Mart now because they are in town about 15 miles away and it's always crowded. I hate crowds I get claustrophobic in crowds.

They are supposed to be building a Wal-Mart in our little town next year. It will be about 4 miles away then. I'll probably rethink shopping there then, just pick times when it won't be busy. The other thing about Wal-Mart is they don't have sales flyers that often, so I can't see what's on sale each week. I plan my buying list by the sales items each week. So I may still shop the grocery stores for groceries at least.

Total spent so far this month = $211.66

I cleaned my master and half bath today. The shower in my master bath has a textured fiberglass floor that I haven't been able to get clean, it always looks dirty to me no matter what I do. I tried the Mr Clean Magic Eraser on it today and it worked great! It looks clean for the first time in months. It was so easy too, no tons of scrubbing was needed. It also just wiped away the soap scum from the side of the floor. I definetely recommend this product. I've used it on my refrigerator and on scuff marks on the garage door and it worked great on those too.

I finished reading the library book Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling. Excellent book. This is such a great series and the best part about it is how much it's inspired kids to read. Both of my nieces are reading the series and have read other science fiction books because of this book's influence.

more GCs

August 20th, 2005 at 08:28 pm

walked with mom for 55 min today. We went to Village Inn for Dinner afterwards. Spent $11.00 got a piece of Banana Cream Brownie Pie for tomorrrow. Yum!

Total spent so far this month = $210.41

I went to the ecard site and bought another $100 worth of Outback GCs, $100 worth of Olive Garden/Red Lobster GCs and $50 worth of Amazon.com GCs. Spent $220 and will save $30 or 12% of face value when I use the cards.

I couldn't sleep last night so got up at 12:00 and read till 3:00 am. Finished the library book Lie By Moonlight by Amanda Quick. Historical Romance. Very good, another favorite author.

new bank account

August 19th, 2005 at 08:28 pm

I've been putting in a lot of extra hours the last 3 weeks on a project at work. I finished it at noon today and took the afternoon off as comp time. Went to the library and picked up my holds, then went to King Soopers for groceries. Spent $22.98 saved 30% according to the receipt. I've also spent $100 for the month so I'll get an extra 7 cents off on their gas. That plus the normal 3 cents off will be 10 cents a gal cheaper. Since I would have bought the groceries anyways, it's a nice bonus.

Next I went to Safeway to cherry-pick. Smile They had my brand of butter on sale for almost half off. I stocked up and will freeze the extra. Spent $7.02 and saved 51% according to the reciept.

Stopped at McDonalds for lunch $5.54

Total spent so far this month = $199.41

I opened a new bank account at UFB Direct. If you put $200 in the account for 4 months you get a $25 bonus. That's 12.5% on top of the 3.65% APY they are paying on their accounts. Pretty good. Plus they compound daily. ING compounds monthly and only pays 3.3% APY.

Here's the link if anyone is interested.

http://www.ufbdirect.com/ufbdirect/index_main.asp

I finished reading the library book The Good, The Bad, and the Undead by Kim Harrison. Vampire/Witch/Werewolf/Elves Fantasy. The story was good and unusual, which I liked, but something I hate is when main characters do stupid things by reacting emotionally. Gets on my nerves Frown