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Archive for September, 2005

Sept Goals

September 30th, 2005 at 09:43 pm

walked with mom for 55 min

Stayed at mom's for Taco Salad and games. I won 4 games and mom won 2, which left Dad pouting. hehe. He almost always wins.

I got a $10 Walgreens gift card in the mail today.

My goals for Sept were:

1. Only spend $400 for groceries, gas, entertainment, clothes, household basics and misc.
Didn't make this one. Spent 427.93

2. Walk at least 20 times this month for at least 45 minutes each time.
Walked 22 times

3. Only go to fast-food restaurants four times and only eat at regular restaurants four times.
Went to fast food 5 times and restaurants five times so didn't make this one either

4. Save $880 above my 401K contribution
Saved the money, but i'm not investing it till I find out what it will cost to redo my shower.

5. Increase my emergency preparedness
5.1 Adding $100 to my cash. - Done
5.2 Increase my emergency stocks of water and easy to eat foods etc. - Done
5.3 Reallocating some of my emergency money to be more liquid. - Done
5.4 Reviewing my insurance policies - Done saved $40 on this one
5.5 Reading Urban Alert! for more ideas. - Done

So only made 3 of the 5 goals - not so good.

Total spending for the month was:

Groceries - 120.55
Fast Food - 37.80
Restaurant - 47.67
Nieces - 80.85
Clothes - 0
Books/Newspapers - 74.07
Gas - 49.55
HBAs - 2.84
Entertainment - 0 - the miniature show was entertainment, but tracked it under miniatures.
Other - 16.35

Miniatures - 72.50
xmas - 120.42

I also figured my net worth and it increased by 4.36% during the month of Sept. I'm very happy with that.

acrylic walls

September 29th, 2005 at 05:50 pm

It's my parents anniversary today, so they went out to eat to celebrate so I didn't walk. I plan to take them out for a late anniversary dinner in a couple weeks.

Went to the post office this morning and mailed my half.com book. Spent $2.26

Total spent so far this month = $429.68

I'm still debating what to do with my shower. I saw this advertisement for acrylic walls that go over the top of the existing walls. I went to thier website and I like the look. They have a store in town that I want to go check out this weekend. Anyone else done this or heard about it? The best part for me is it's done in one day and there's no demolition involved.

Finished reading the library book Origin in Death by J.D. Robb. Mystery. Excellent book. J.D. Robb is a pseudonym for Nora Roberts I like everything she writes. Great dialog, Great characters and Great stories.

chocolate cravings

September 28th, 2005 at 08:39 pm

walked with mom for 55 min

I hope I'm back on track spending wise. It's usually not an issue for me to go out and spend because of emotional issues. I usually decide how much of my budget is going to go where and then I just spend the rest on what I want without beating myself up about it, as long as I remain within the alloted amount I don't care how it's spent. I am trying to cut back on eating at fast food restaurants, but that's for health reasons more than money reasons. I think the frustration just built up to such a high level I couldn't stand the stress of one more thing, such as deciding to drive home and cook dinner there. Ah well, that's done with now, time to move on.

No spending today. Only two more days this month. I wanted chocolate so bad today, just had a craving for it all day long, but I don't keep it in the house. I resisted going and buying some on the way home from moms so I was happy about that, but I still want some chocolate Smile This time of year it seems like candy is everywhere. You open any sales flyer and bags of it jump out at you screaming, buy me! buy me! It's such a good deal half price, 30% off, BOGO. So not only do you have to resist the temptation of chocoloate, you have to resist the temptation of getting a bargain Smile No fair!

I didn't have a mailer big enough for the book I need to mail out for half.com and I didn't want to take time out of the day to go to the store and get one. Fortunately my mom had one and she said I could have it. Will mail it before work tomorrow.

Finished listening to the library book on tape All About Passion by Stephanie Laurens. Romance. Very Good book.

frustration = spending and waste

September 27th, 2005 at 08:25 pm

walked with mom for 45 min

I'm mad at myself today. I had an extremely frustrating day at work. Just constant interruptions. I spent all morning training a co-worker and hosting an hour and a half meeting. At lunch I wanted to get a few minutes to myself so went to the cafeteria for a sandwich and chips. Spent $4.38 Took the sandwich back to my desk to try to get some of my own work done before the next training session and got 3 phone calls in a half hour asking for help from people who are supposed to be training us, we aren't supposed to be training them. So didn't get to finish my lunch before the training with my co-worker resumed. Spent two more hours with him. Then spent a half hour reviewing the work of another co-worker. Another half hour training session and then another half hour with a different co-worker on their problems. By the end of the day I hadn't gotten any of my work done. I was extremely frustrated.

Went to the bank and deposited two rebate checks and a roll of quarters. Added $40.34 to my Extra Fund. It's over a $1000 now.

Went to Barnes and Noble and traded the reprinted book I had got last week for another book by the same author, but a new one that I hadn't read yet.

Then instead of going home and fixing dinner like I should have I went to Captain D's and spent $11.47 and didn't event eat all of it, because I over bought thinking I was hungrier than I was. Bah! Mad at myself for this, especially for wasting the money by buying more than I could eat.

Then I came home and walked with mom. So all in all a long, frustrating day.

Total spent so far this month = $427.42

Got the Target cards I ordered last week in the mail.

I sold another book on half.com, for $5. That makes 4 total and 3 in the last week. Feel like I have to go to the post office everyday. Fortunately there is one about a mile away.

Finished listening to the library book on tape To The Nines by Janet Evanovich. Mystery. Very good, very funny.

2 more car payments

September 26th, 2005 at 08:16 pm

walked with mom 50 min

Went to the post office this morning and bought 100 1 cent stamps and sent my latest half.com book off. Spent $3.24

I forgot about returning an item to Kmart last week so that adds $6.72 back to my budget.

Total spent so far this month = $411.56 I think once you break your budget it's like cheating on a diet. Once you do it you figure oh well, I already blew it I might as well have a bowl of ice cream or spend another $10. I have been in a spending mood all week and I just hope I can keep it somewhat under control when I go in town tomorrow.

Made a car payment today so now I only have two to go. Yippee!!

I finished reading the library book Enemy by Lee Child. Mystery. Very good.

catch up day with a friend

September 25th, 2005 at 07:53 pm

walked 55 min with mom

Bought a paper this morning $1

A friend and I drove to Denver today. We haven't seen each other in more than a month so it was really nice to spend the time talking and catching up with each other. We went to Red Robin for lunch. Spent $13.65

Afterwards we went to the Container Store. I love that store, but I've bought so many organizer things over the years I don't need anything anymore. Only spent $4.78

We drove back home and spent a couple hours talking at my house.

After she left I took a short nap and then went over to my mom's to walk. I thought of one thing I want for xmas. The new Gretchen Wilson CD All Jacked Up. I see it's a new release this week and it's on sale all over town.

After we walked I was tired and went to McDonalds for dinner. spent $6.60

Total spent so far this month = $415.04

shower costs

September 24th, 2005 at 08:33 pm

walked with mom for 55 min

My dad and I went to Home Depot today to see what the options are for my master bath shower. He's done some construction and I wanted his opinion. I think I'm going to go with a dark green 12" marble looking tile. Approximate cost for the tile is $450. My dad said he will do the demolition but someone else will have to do the tile work. So the next step is to find someone to do that. I'm hoping to get the whole thing done for less than $1000, but that will mean one month where I won't be investing outside of my 401K. But it has to be done and I would prefer to do a nice job so it adds value to the house. I hope to have it completed by the end of Oct.

Got gas for 2.81/gal 6 cents off with my grocery card. Total spent = $19.63

Got a few groceries just milk and produce spent $9.81 saved 20% according to the reciept.

Total spent so far this month = $389.01. There's no way I'm going to make my $400 goal with almost a full week left to go, now the goal is to limit the amount I go over $400.

Sold another book at half.com today, this one was $10.00

Saw that I got my $25 bonus from UFB bank in my account today. Tried to register to see my HSBC account online, but kept having problems. I'll have to call them on Monday to see what the deal is there.

Finished reading the library book Dark Sky by Carla Neggers. Romance/Mystery. Good book

free haircut

September 23rd, 2005 at 08:48 pm

walked with mom for 55 min

I get my hair cut at Great Clips and they have a deal where after you get 5 haircuts the 6th one is free. Today just happened to be number 6 so I got it for free Smile Spent $2.00 for the tip. I haven't paid full price for any of the haircuts, 2 of them were on sale for half price and the other 3 I had $2 or $3 off coupons.

Total spent so far this month = $359.57

I got 100 worth of discounted Target gift cards for me and 100 for my mom from the ecard site. They were 10% off. I can always use Target cards. Mom want's some silky pajamas for xmas and a red grill pan. Might be able to use them there. I'm looking for Home Depot cards since I want to get my dad a power blower for xmas and it's $99 I'd like to get at least 10% off to keep it within my budget of $100. Maybe I'll find a Home Depot coupon and be able to combine the savings, that would be nice.

My mom keeps asking me for my xmas list, but I can't think of anything I want or need this year. I still want to buy myself a PC when I find one at the right price, but that's way too expensive to ask for and I can't think of anything else. I've been in the mood to get rid of stuff lately, not add more stuff. Maybe I'll just ask for gift cards to Media Play or Walgreens or something, but she won't be very happy with that. Xmas is a big deal in our family we spend 2 - 3 hours opening presents since we each take turns. Maybe I'll check out Nene Thomas and Ruth Thompson's websites to see if they have any new posters out. I love their art and have several framed pictures from both of them.

I finished reading the library book Lyon's Gate by Catherine Coulter. Romance. Good popcorn book.

saved $40 on house insurance

September 22nd, 2005 at 08:50 pm

walked with mom for 55 min

I called the home insurance company today and lowered my personal property value. It goes up automatically every year but it goes up faster than I buy things, plus I've gotten rid of stuff in the last few years. I also changed my deductible from 500 to 1000 and changed my payment from twice a year to once a year. That saved $6. Total savings was $40

My parents wanted to eat out tonight so we went to Village Inn for the early bird special. Spent $8.83

I did some xmas shopping on Amazon today. Bought 5 Trixie Belden books for my youngest neice. I will give her 3 for xmas and save the other 2 for later. I bought the Pacific Islands princess of the world barbie for my oldest neice. She collects them. I got free shipping and saved 2% by using a9.com and 12% by using my discounted gift cards. Total spent = $55.72

Total spent for the month = $357.57

I finished reading the library book Academ's Fury by Jim Butcher. Sci Fi. Very good. 2nd in the series.

sold another book

September 21st, 2005 at 07:35 pm

walked with mom for 55 min

Sold another book on half.com - this is number two, about 1 a month. It's been so long I was surprised when I checked my email and got the notification.

Spent 1.42 on postage to mail the book

Went to the library to pick up my holds and paid my 50 cent late fine

Got my DirectTV bill with the first $5.00 discount. They gave me a discount for last month on the same bill so actually got $10 off this bill and will get 5 off the next 4 bills.

Total spent so far this month = $348.74

long work day

September 20th, 2005 at 09:00 pm

went into work today. This management stuff is a pain. I spend all day solving people's problems and don't get any of my own stuff done. Since I have to talk to so many people when I go into the office I have really long days. I worked 9 1/2 hrs today so didn't get home in time to walk again. Hopefully after these first couple of weeks when we get everyone organized it will smooth out and not be as frustrating to me. Part of my frustration has to do with trying to communicate with people who's first language isn't english. We recently hired 2 people from India and I have a hard time understanding them and they probably have a hard time understanding me. I hate having to keep asking someone to repeat themselves. I feel it's rude, but since I can't understand that's my only option.

When I add the commuting time to my work day it's another hour and then I run errands while I'm in town. I need a long decompression time after working to clear all the jumble of work thoughts out of my head. I don't get that on days I go into work. BooHoo!

After work I went to Barnes and Noble. I had a 10% off the whole purchase coupon that I got from one of the freebie listings. Unfortunately I bought a book I already own so I have to return it. Two or three times a year I get fooled when they re-issue a book with a different cover. I think it's a new book by a favorite author. Usually I check the copyright date, but didn't today. Bought 3 books and spent $19.23

Went to Wendy's for dinner and spent $5.11

Total spent so far this month = $346.82

increased energy use, decreased food costs

September 19th, 2005 at 07:52 pm

walked with mom for 45 min

I've been tracking my electricity use for almost two years now and I noticed that for the last few months I'm using about 30 KWH more per month than I did in the same month last year. I couldn't think of anything I'm doing differently that would use more electricity. I finally came to the conclusion that it's because I'm cooking more often. Last year I was eating out more often and when I ate at home it was usually a frozen dinner that I microwaved. But one of my goals this year was to eat more healthy so I've been cooking 3 - 4 times a week or more. I know I'm spending less for food, especially eating out, so I guess it's a good trade off.

Finished listening to the library book on tape A Rogue's Proposal by Stephanie Laurens. Very good book

Just noticed this is my 100th journal entry. The time has really gone fast, seems like I just started this. Smile

store brands

September 18th, 2005 at 08:35 pm

walked with mom for 55 min

Went to the grocery store this morning and bought a few basics and stocked up on canned beans which were on sale. According to the receipt I saved 41%. I spent $15.78 It's getting so most of the grocery stores around here allocate more of their store space to their store brands. It's getting harder and harder to find some name brands that I like because the store brands are taking up all the space. I don't mind using store brands for a lot of things but a sometimes I can get name brands for free with coupons only the stores don't stock them. Awhile back I had coupons for free lunchmeat from Sara Lee but I couldn't find it stocked in King Soopers, Safeway or Albertsons.

I met my parents for lunch and spent $10.09

Total spent so far this month = $322.48 I'm going to have a hard time keeping it under $400 this month, but still trying.

I cleaned my master bath today and saw that some of the bottom tiles were loose. I think there might be a leak or something wrong. I need to figure out what the problem is and how to fix it. I'm sure it will cost money whatever the problem is. I have a repair/maintenance/replace fund that I put $50 into every month and hopefully it will be enough to cover the fix. I think there's about $250 in there right now.

Finished reading the library book Slow Burn by Julie Garwood. Romance. Very good book. Not as good as some of her others but still very good.

action is all that separates you from success

September 17th, 2005 at 08:36 pm

walked with mom for 55 min

Went to the library and got my holds. I have a book on tape that I'm listening to. I would have finished it Friday if I hadn't had to go into work unexpectedly and it was due Friday, but since I'm halfway through and I can't renew it I decided to keep it and finish it on Monday. I'll probably end up owing about 30 cents, but it's worth it to finish the story Smile

I went to the miniature store that's near me today. It's funny how there isn't a miniature store in the big town near me, but there's one in our little town. Anyways she always sends out coupons for 15% off everything you buy around your birthday. I've had mine for quite awhile since I haven't had time to work on miniatures. So I used it today and only spent $41.33 which comes out of my miniature budget.

My mom gave me a list of 3 things she wants for her birthday and xmas. One was a victorian doll lamp from a catalog so I ordered it today. Total is $64.70 which comes out of the xmas budget.

I see that I got paid $4.49 from half.com so after postage I made 2.52

In the freebies section there was a post from mjrube94 about HSBC giving a $35 sign up bonus for a $1 min deposit, so I opened an account with them today. Supposed to get the bonus 45 days after the initial deposit.
Thanks mjrube94 for the link. I've been doing a lot more of the freebies stuff lately. Recently I've gotten several samples and coupons in the mail. It's nice, I'm getting things for family members too. I got the free JCPenny t-shirts coupons for my sister and my mom and I got free starbucks coffee coupons for my dad. I also finally talked my sister into using the discounted gift card site and she's real excited about it now.

I finished re-reading the library book Shattering the Two-Income Myth by Andy Dappen. This book has a ton of ways to save money. It's like the Tightwad Gazette I re-read it at least once a year to prompt me to new ways of saving. It's a really good book.

Here's a quote from the book that really struck me this time around:

"When you work for a business you give people you may not even know, like or respect the best energy of your life. You give them action and that makes them money. Now it's time to give that energy to what you care about most - your family, yourself. Once you have identified your goals and made the choices necessary to pursue those goals, action is all that spearates you from success."

I think that it's difficult to take actions that we know will benefit us sometimes, things like calling a company and asking for a lower rate on a service or even changing companies. Things like starting and keeping a price book, or cooking meals or fixing a lunch to take to work. Things like doing maintenance on our possessions to make them last longer. Almost everyone's lives are so packed with work responsibilities that it's difficult to find the energy to do the things that benefit us both financially and mentally.

long couple of days

September 16th, 2005 at 08:18 pm

Thursday drove into work. There was snow on the mountains, very pretty, but not sure I'm ready for winter yet. Went to the bank and got some cash to add to my at home stash for an emergency.

Stopped at Walgreens on the way into work to get some Excedrin on sale and I had coupons and used my rebate gift card. Total spent $9.60

Long day at work, my boss took 80% of my work away and put me in charge of a new team that's tasked with getting a big project done by the end of the year. Spent a lot of time in meetings. Management isn't really my thing, I prefer to do the actual work. He promised me it would only be temporary, I sure hope so.

I didn't leave work till after 6:00 put in a 10 hours day. Got gas after work paid 2.79/gal I had a 10 cent off deal from King Soopers. Spent $29.92

Went to Barnes and Noble and used one of my discounted gift cards to renew my membership so I'll get 10% off all purchases. Spent $31.77 bought a couple financial magazines plus the 25 renewal fee.

Last stop was Souper Salad. I had a coupon if you buy two meals they are $1 off each. So I bought two for $10.72 Had one salad for dinner last night and one for lunch today and still have 2 cups of pasta salad, 1 cup of chicken salad and 1 cup of red beans and rice to use up.

It was after 8 by the time I got home yesterday so I didn't get to walk. I was so tired I didn't even get on the computer to update my journal yesterday.

Because of my new assignment I had to go back into work again today. Bummer! But I left early today at 3:00. Went to Popeyes for dinner had a coupon for buy one 2 piece meal and get another one free so I spent $4.48 for two meals. Had one tonight and will eat the other this weekend. I have tons of leftovers right now.

Total spent so far this month = $296.61

Tonight I caught up on everyone's journals. There are so many active journals now I had to go way down to the bottom of the page to find mine Smile

I finished reading the library book Point Blank by Catherine Coulter. Romance/Mystery. Very good book

cold weather

September 14th, 2005 at 08:26 pm

walked with mom 55 min

It's been chilly this week. It rained very hard for awhile this afternoon and the temperature got down to 50. I actually had to dig out my coat for my walk. I was okay with my sweat pants on this evening, but it won't be too long till the furnace will have to be turned on again. I hope to put it off as long as possible. I'm sure this will be another year when gas prices hike up. Last year had a 30% hike, wonder how much is will be this year.

I got my phone/internet bill today. I use Qwest. Every month this bill pi$$e$ me off. It's not the amount of the bill it's all the little extra taxes and fees they add on. My base bill for phone/DSL is $39.87 but they add $12.40 in fees/taxes. That's 31%. What other industry can charge you 31% in taxes? And when they quote you figures for service they never tell you how much they will tack on in extras.

Finished reading the library book Mystic and Rider by Sharon Shinn. Sci Fi. Good book

The biggest loser

September 13th, 2005 at 08:36 pm

walked with mom 45 min

Mailed my Alavert rebate for $6.50

No other financial news today.

I watched the Biggest Loser tonight. 14 people go on national television to lose weight and the one who loses the most wins $250,000. I have to admit this show fascinates me. One I am overweight and it's the one area of my life I can't seem to control. I'm happy with every other area, but this one kicks my butt over and over, so I'm interested in watching other people tackle and win in this area. I like to watch the Discovery Body Challenge too. Two I can't imagine baring my soul, let alone my body on national television. The blogging is annonymous so it's much easier to bare yourself, (so to speak) in this format, so watching these people's emotional issues regarding their weight speak loudly to me. Three the winner gets $250,000 and basically a new life and body and this seems to happen overnight, or at least very quickly. I think everyone fantasizes about winning the lottery or losing 20 lbs in a week, so it's a way of putting yourself into their shoes and wondering what if.... or maybe I could...

Read the library book The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon. A Novel. This book was really interesting. It was about an autistic man and how he perceives the world. This isn't my normal type of book. I read it because I like Science Fiction books by Elizabeth Moon, but this is a different Elizabeth Moon and I didn't realize that when I put it on hold at the library but once I started reading it I was hooked from the first page.

b-day party

September 12th, 2005 at 07:55 pm

Got a $5 replay reward certificate to Media play in the mail today. Also got my latest batch of discount gift cards.

Went to my sister's house for my youngest nieces b-day. She is 11 today. We had pizza and ice cream. She liked all her presents. She especially liked the Trixie Beldon books and the Herbie game boy game I gave her.

My sister got a $3000 profit sharing from work and she was real happy because she said they replenished their savings account. They had spent it all on car repairs. Their savings account is $1000. I'm glad they have that much, but it sure seems skimpy to me considering what their bills are. But she's happy at that level of savings. They also bought a new microwave, flat screen tv and dvd/vcr player. No moral judgements here, they can spend it where they want. I'm just amazed sometimes at how different all three of us kids are regarding money even though we were all raised/educated the same way. I think she is much more of an optimist than I am. She always expects things to work out well for her and they usually do. I hope things will go well, and they usually do, but I plan for things to go wrong and then I don't need to worry about it. My brother doesn't worry or plan or work, he just expects my dad to provide for him and so far that's working for him. All of us are happy with our own way of dealing with money.

I finished listening to the library book on tape Hard Eight by Janet Evanovich. Very good, very funny.

I also finished reading the library book Lifeguard by James Patterson. It was Ok. I think a lot of his other books were much better. Kind of feel like he phoned this one in, just did it for the money.

miniature show

September 11th, 2005 at 09:32 pm

DirectTv has a free movie weekend this weekend for the Starz movie package. Everytime they have a free weekend I have to struggle to find even one movie to watch. They played the Bourne Supremacy last night at 11:00 and I taped it. Hope to watch it sometime this week. Tonight they had Van Helsing but I'd already seen it and as much as I like Hugh Jackman I wasn't in the mood to watch it again. Good thing I'm not paying for this Smile

Denver has a miniature show once a year and I always go with my niece and a friend of mine. Denver's about an hour away from me. We drove up and went to lunch first at Red Lobster. My niece and I love Red Lobster. It's a real treat for her to go. Lunch was $18.78 I used one of my discounted gift cards.

Tickets for the show were $14 for me and my niece. I gave her $20 to spend at the show. I only spent $17.17 which is very cheap for me. I usually spend a couple of hundred dollars and I had planned to spend that much this time. But as much as I love to look at the stuff today it was so crowded and hot, I just couldn't stand it. I hate crowds I start to feel claustrophobic. So I didn't spend as much time looking as I normally would.

After the show we went to Cold Stone for ice cream where I spent $7.78 with tip. Next we wandered around the Container store which is a favorite of mine and we don't have one close. I love organizer stuff and so does my niece, but I didn't buy anything because I already have all the organizer stuff I need for now. I did get a great idea for both nieces for xmas. They had a really cool CD organizer where you puch a button and the CD pops out. My niece really liked it except for the colors. Maybe they'll come out with better ones before xmas. They had pink, green and blue and she wants purple. I could get green for the other niece.

Next stop was Target where I bought a few misc items and 2 books. Total spent was $23.82. Looked at some clothes at Target and I really like the fall colors. They are my colors, (charcoal blue, olive green, eggplant purple) but they had long sleeve sweaters and I wanted something with short sleeves so I didn't get anything.

We went to Subway for dinner and I spent $14.29

I took her home after that. I love spending time with both of my nieces, but my oldest niece is very special to me because we have so much in common and like so many of the same things. Reading, Miniatures, organizing and we seem to think the same way about things. While I never wanted the responsibility of raising a child I do like imprinting some of my values and view points on both of my nieces.

Anyways after that I went to King Soopers and got groceries. Spent $34.63 and according to the reciept I saved 34%. I also got a rebate item for which I will get $5.79 back.

Total spent this month = $210.12 I'm really going to have to watch it for the rest of the month if I want to remain under $400.

I put $35 a month in my miniatures fund and $31.17 will come out of that for today's mini purchases.

cleaning day

September 10th, 2005 at 08:33 pm

walked with mom 55 min

Spent most of the day cleaning the house. Did a little reading too.

Finished reading Urban Alert! Emergency Survival for City Dwellers by Mary Ellen Clayton. Good book. Made me think about a lot of things. In her book she describes how they got all their emergency stuff together and then did a three day trial run to see how it would work in a real world situation. They turned off their electric and taped their refrigerator and toilet handle so they wouldn't use it during the trial. During the first trial things didn't go so well and they gave up after the first 24 hours. The second trial they learned from their mistakes and made it through the three days. I think this would be a good experiment for most people. Could you live on what's in your pantry for 3 days with no electricity? Could you stay in your house for three days and not use the phone or watch TV or even use the computer. That would be tough, but it might be better to find out how you would react in a pretend situation before you have to find out for real.

It might be interesting to try the experiment in the summer when it's hot and in the winter when it's cold since that would add other challenges to the experiment.

car insurance

September 9th, 2005 at 09:24 pm

walked with mom 55 min

Paid my 6 month car insurance premium today. $363.67 According to their statement my premium has been adjusted for the following:

Multiple Line 44.81
Vehicle Safety 8.63
Accident Free 91.09

That means I could be paying as much as 144.54 more every 6 months. Nice to know what you're saving money on.

Took a friend to McDonalds and spent $10.43

Total spent so far this month = $90.82

Finished listening to the library book on tape On a Wicked Dawn by Stephanie Laurens. Romance. Very good

Also finished reading the library book The Breaking Point by Suzanne Brockmann. Romance/Mystery. I love her books. The characters are great, story is great, very absorbing books.

no news

September 8th, 2005 at 08:53 pm

walked with mom for 55 min

No money news today. Went to the library and picked up 10 holds. Lots of books to read.

Finished reading the library book Smoke and Mirrors by Tanya Huff. Supernatural. Very good book.

chili pasta

September 7th, 2005 at 07:17 pm

walked with mom for 55 min

Got a rebate for Sargento cheese for $2.99 in the mail today.

Bought $100 worth of Barnes and Nobel gift cards and $100 worth of JC Penny gift cards for 12% off at the gift card site. The JC Penny cards are for my mom. I'm going to use one of the Barnes and Nobel cards to renew my membership so I can get 10% off all my purchases. So those two combined will make it 22% off all my BN purchases.

I made chili pasta tonight with leftover chili from Sunday.

4 cups chili = 3.28
8 oz wide egg noodles = 33 cents
1 cup frozen corn = 25 cents

Total = $3.86/4 = 97 cents per serving

Finished reading the library book Final Justice by Jasmine Cresswell. Mystery. Good book

Jaded.

September 6th, 2005 at 08:41 pm

walked with mom 45 min

I love reading stories that include descriptions of how people deal with money. Especially stories of early America. I like the Little House books where Laura describes how much money she makes by teaching school or sewing and what she spent it on. I like a Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith where she talks about making a bank out of a can that they put 5 cents at a time into. Walden by Thoreau where he describes how much money he spends for the year. These and many others are always fascinating to me.

The characters in these books seem to have an appreciation for money that I believe is missing in many Americans today, including myself at times. I think many of us are jaded. Money for basic expenses is often fairly easy to get. It's the money for the toys or the level beyond basics that frustrates most Americans, because they can't have everything they think they want and deservce right now. I'm not putting anyone down here, but just trying to describe how our/my attitudes towards money are different from previous generations when money was scarcer and meant survival instead of another toy.

I was talking to my mom about how money doesn't have as much meaning for me as it used to. If I want to buy something for $100 I can and it really doesn't make much of a dent in my lifestyle. I don't usually spend the $100 because there's not that many things I want anymore and I'm in the habit of saving up for big things. But if I wanted to I can spend that $100 and not miss it. Even a $1000 doesn't have a lot of meaning any more. What the $1000 represents has more meaning than the $1000. To me a $1000 represents 10 days of retirement.

When I went to college my real dad gave me a $1000. He had never even paid child support before that point, so that amount of money was a huge shock. I remember feeling so overwhelmed by the amount, it was enormous to me at that time. It was like winning the lottery. I had something like $300 in my savings account that I had saved for 2 years. I made like $1.75 an hour in 1979 so that much money all at one time, in one place and all mine was stunning. This was before my saving days, so the money got frittered away over the next year. I've always regretted that.

I remember when I got my first paycheck. It was about $37. I was 16. At that time, that was a fortune to me. I felt rich at that moment. That money represented so many different things that I could buy. At the time I had a lot of wants and hadn't even started on the concept of saving.

With my first full-time job and living on my own, after paying my bills and food I had $10 a week left to spend on misc. That $10 also had a lot of meaning to me. It had to stretch a long ways and many times I didn't make it last and had to borrow. Money was much more important in my life when I didn't have as much and when my wants were greater.

Then around age 25 I started saving my money. Between then and now I've gotten most of the things I want. Car, House, furniture etc. Now my basic needs are easily covered. I'm at a point in my life where I don't have a lot of big wants anymore. My greatest want now is more time, which to me means retirement. I like saving money but it's more about the game of getting more for less than it is about the actual dollars. In many ways I feel that I've become jaded about money. I kind of miss the reverence/respect I used to experience regarding money when it played a bigger role in my life. On the other hand I definitely like not having the worry that went along with not having enough money for basic needs, let alone wants. So I guess I'll take jaded over worried anyday.

I'm really tired tonight and a little blue. Too much thinking Smile I feel like I'm rambling and not expressing my thoughts on this subject clearly, but hopefully people understand the main point and I didn't offend anyone.

relaxing day

September 5th, 2005 at 08:02 pm

walked with mom for 55 min

Did a little cleaning today and made potato salad but spent most of the day reading. My favorite kind of day.

Read the libray book Chill of Fear by Kay Hooper. Mystery. Very good. One of my favortie authors.

Read my book Never Look Back by Linda Lael Miller. Romance/Mystery. Good book

I think my ratio of library books to books I buy is about 6:1 lots of money saved there Smile I also think reading gives you one of the best entertainment values for the buck. Especially when it's free books from the library. But even reading a new paperbook at 7.99 for 3 hours is only $2.66 hr.

Wendy's Chile recipe

September 4th, 2005 at 08:38 pm

Got a newspaper for $1.25 this morning then went to King Soopers for groceries. Spent $55.71. According to the reciept I saved 41%

Total spent so far this month = $80.39 not off to a good start this month since I've spent almost 20% of my budget in 4 days. I did stock up on some items. Got 2 cases of 16 oz bottles of water for 2.99 each. That was a good deal.

I picked up my mail this morning and I got a rebate check for $27.35 from one of my credit cards.

I found a copy cat version of a Wendy's chili recipe at www.recipezaar.com and made it today. It was really good, I love Wendy's chili and this was just as yummy. I had a bowl for supper with corn on the cob. The corn on the cob is the best I've had all year too. I'm going back to Safeway tomorrow to buy some more to freeze. They have it at 6 ears for $1.00

Cost of 1 serving of the chile = .82 cents

Makes 12 servings

2 lbs ground beef = 2.00
1 (29 ounce) can tomato sauce = 1.29
1 (29 ounce) can kidney beans = .90
1 (29 ounce) can pinto beans = .90
1 cup diced onions = .25
1/2 cup diced green chili peppers = 1.25
1/4 cup diced celery = .20
3 medium tomatoes = 2.49
2 teaspoons cumin powder = .15
3 tablespoons chili powder = .25
2 teaspoons black pepper = .10
2 teaspoons salt = .05

Total = 9.83/12 = .82

I'm so glad I had a 3 day weekend. I needed to relax. I've been able to read quite a bit, plus get some housework done. I usually resent the time spent on housework on the weekends since I feel my free time is so short, but this weekend it hasn't been so bad.

Read the library book Haunted by Kelley Armstrong. Supernatural. Good Book

Red Cross donation

September 3rd, 2005 at 07:32 pm

Donated $100.00 to the Red Cross for Katrina. My company matches donations 3:1 so they will add $300 to my donation making it $400 total. They plan to donate $3 million total, which is very nice. I like to find groups that will match my donations when I give.

Went to the library to pick up my holds and saw I had a .40 cent late fine. One of the books went under the seat of the car and I didn't realize I hadn't turned it in on time. Oh well, accidents happen at least this was a cheap one.

Went to Safeway this morning to stock up on sale items. Spent $23.03. I'll go to King Soopers tomorrow for more groceries. Lots of sales this weekend, so worth stocking up on things.

Total spent so far this month = $23.43 The donation comes from a different fund, not my $400 household fund.

Fixed grilled salmon with onions, baked potato and the best corn on the cob I've had all year. So good!

Grilled salmon with red robin seasoning and garlic salt and pepper = $1.35 based on 3.98 1b + cost of seasonings. salmon portion was 1/3 lb.
Grilled onion = 2 cents based on 1 onion slice
baked potato with green onions, red robin seasoning, pepper = 20 cents
corn on cob with butter and salt = 20 cents based on corn at 6/$1

Total for meal = $1.77

Read the library book Dark Moon by Lori Handeland. Werewolves. Pretty good. A popcorn book.

Sept goals

September 2nd, 2005 at 08:32 pm

walked with mom 55 min. I found a pink body pillow from Linens n' things still in the original package for $9.99. The closest store is 40 minutes away from me so I gave it to my Dad and told him to take it back for a refund. He might only get $8.00 back but it's free money. He working on a project over there for a couple of weeks and goes within a mile of the store.

My goals for Sept are:

1. Only spend $400 for groceries, gas, entertainment, clothes, household basics and misc.

2. Walk at least 20 times this month for at least 45 minutes each time.

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

4. Save $880 above my 401K contribution

5. Increase my emergency preparedness
5.1 Adding $100 to my cash.
5.2 Increase my emergency stocks of water and easy to eat foods etc.
5.3 Reallocating some of my emergency money to be more liquid.
5.4 Reviewing my insurance policies
5.5 Reading Urban Alert! for more ideas.

I finished listening to the library book on tape Truth or Dare by Jayne Ann Krentz. Romance/Mystery. Very good book.

I also finished reading Vigil by Robert Masello. Horror/Thriller. Interesting book, not really my usuall type, but worth reading.

Emergency stores

September 1st, 2005 at 08:45 pm

walked with mom for 55 min

I had a really, really, really, really bad day at work today. Needed 3 clones of myself. The walking really helped with the stress build-up. And after watching the news I realized my day wasn't that bad since I wasn't in New Orleans or Mississippi.

Reading some of the new articles made me rethink my emergency planning. We have some pretty bad snow storms here occassionally. A couple years ago I was trapped in the house for 3 days because of the snow. We had drifts over 10 feet high covering the roads. Fortunately the electricity didn't go off so I was able to work. I had enough food in the house so that didn't bother me either.

But it could be a bad situation if the electricity went out for an extended amount of time. During the early eighties there was a large movement about survival preparedness. Everyone thought we would have WWIII with Reagan so it was a big topic. At the time it made sense to me to have some extra put aside for emergencies. I've always had a pretty full pantry and stored water, paper products etc. This storage really helped me out when I was laid off in 1994 and spent the next year living on my savings while going to school.

In 1982 I bought a book called Urban Alert! Emergency Survival for City Dwellers by Mary Ellen Clayton and Bruce Clayton. Ph.D. It provides an overview of things to stock up with and how to survive in various situations.

Based on what I'm reading about the hurricane victims I think the following would be a good idea to me to strive for to be prepared.

1. Water. I keep 2 6 gal containers of water and 2 cases of bottled water in my house. I think I should add a couple more cases of water. Water is very precious when it's scarce and it's very cheap to stockup on.

2. More foods that are easy to prepare in an emergency. I need to stockpile more canned goods, crackers, , canned fruit, canned milk, cereal, peanut butter and chocolate. Foods that taste good will help in a stressfull situation.

3. 1 month emergency fund in cash. A lot of the people in Mississippi can get to some stores, but no one is taking credit cards, it's cash only for gas and groceries. I have some cash at home, but a couple hundred dollars doesn't go very far. Would I really miss the extra $20-$30 in interest this cash would make in the bank by keeping the money at home?

4. 6 months emergency cash in liquid bank funds. I have 6 months saved, but some of it would be a little hard to get to. Need to move some money around and make it more liquid. A lot of these people have lost everything, but they still have the bills. They still have to pay for the car that's gone, the house that's gone, the furniture that's gone. They've also lost their jobs and once they are moved out of New Orleans will have to pay to live somewhere. They need liquid money to get them over the hump until they find new jobs. Hopefully most of them are insured.

5. Extra paper products and hygiene products. Toilet paper, soap, shampoo, toothpaste etc. Should keep a 3 month supply of these on hand.

6. Consolidated financial records that I can grab and take quickly if I need to evacuate my house. I have these in 3 places need to put them all in one place.

7. Good Insurance for replacement of all personal possessions. Need to review my policy when it's up for renewal.

8. Some form of emergency lighting and heating equipment. I have the emergency lights, but need to look into an emergency heat source.

I'm going to reread the book and see what else I should be doing. I think it's a lot smarter to be prepared and maybe not need it, than to expect the government to step in and supply your needs. They don't seem to be able to do much in this situation.

I'll list my Sept goals tomorrow since this is getting kind of long.

I finished reading my book Tripwire by Lee Child. Mystery. Very good. His books always suck me in and are difficult to put down.