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Archive for October, 2005

Oct Goals

November 1st, 2005 at 03:03 am

Didn't walk today because I had a really bad stomach ache.

My goals for Oct were:

1. Only spend $400 for groceries, gas, entertainment, clothes, household basics and misc.
Way over on this. Total was $537.50

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

3. I'm going on vacation for a week this month so I'm not setting any eating out goals. I know I'll be eating out a lot. My goal is to spend $300 or less on my vacation.
This was under which is good because I used the extra to cover my monthly spending goal overage. Total was $167.20

4. Save $880 above my 401K contribution
I saved the money, but didn't invest it. It's going toward my shower redo.

5. Try two new recipes
Didn't do this.

6. Put another $100 in my cash reserve.
Put $200 in the reserves.

So not too bad, but not great either. I definitly need to tighten up on the monthly spending. I think I'll increase it a little next month, between gas and groceries it's getting harder to keep it under $400 each month.

Total spending for the month was:

Groceries - 196.20
Fast Food - 11.08 - not very accurate since I used a lot of my vacation money eating out
Restaurant - 44.31
Nieces - 54.32
Clothes - 51.00
Books/Newspapers - 60.61
Gas - 53.29
HBAs - 143.49
Entertainment - 0 - vacation covered this
Other - 3.68

xmas - 160.90
gifts - 40.80

I'll have to do my networth for Oct later, the website for my 401K is down.

more snow

October 31st, 2005 at 04:05 am

Turned my furnace on today when it started to snow outside. Didn't get a lot but it's cold. I was hoping to wait till Nov 1 to turn it on, but didn't quite make it.

I got gas at 2.59/gal spent $26.41
Went to the grocery store and stocked up on candy for halloween and a $10 bag of shrimp which will last for about 3 months. Spent more than usual $49.22 saved 18% according to the receipt.

Total spent so far this month = $537.50

I got yesterday's mail and I had a $6.50 rebate and also my flex care rebates. The dentist and other over-the-counter items got reimbursed really quick. I need to go through some of my old receipts and see if there's anything else I need to claim.

I finished reading the library book Undead and Unappreciated by Mary Janice Davidson. Vampire. Good book. Cute.

I also finished reading the library book You Don't Have to be Rich by Jean Chatzky. Finance. Pretty Good.
I definitely like the premise of the book, which is money can't make you happy, unless you're desperately poor.
Something that bugs me is how many finance articles or gurus there are telling you how to be rich. I have nothing against being rich, I just think it's a ridiculous goal, all by itself. If you want to be rich so you can have a certain lifestyle or to meet a certain goal that's one thing, but it seems to me that people want to be rich, just to be rich. Like somehow being rich will solve all their problems.

While I wouldn't turn being rich down, it's not my goal in life. My goal is to have enough money in savings and investments to finance a comfortable lifestyle so I don't have to work if I don't want to. This amount is well below the amount needed for what I would consider to be rich.

This book asks what makes a happy, successful life and how much money you really need to have one. The book details a survey regarding people's attitudes towards money and how they manage money successfully. It asks the same survey questions in the book and helps you define some of your thinking about money.

She lists a simple set of strategies to help you control your money, spend smartly, eliminate debts, and set and reach financial goals. Most of these strategies are well known, but still worth reading.

Kitchen changes

October 30th, 2005 at 03:32 am

walked with mom for 55 min

I've been thinking about some changes I want to make to my kitchen. It involves changing the laundry area and adding new cabinets and replacing the coat closet with pull-out pantries, this would give me about 3 more feet so will need new upper and lower cabinets for that area and then I want new countertops in the whole kitchen. Estimated cost $10,000. I think I'll put it on my wish list and start saving for it after my Canada vacation next year and new carpet in about 3 years. I might get to the kitchen in 10 years or so Smile

I have a revolving list of wants and each year I budget $100 a month for what I call short-term goals. I look at the list and rate it by what's most important to me right now, then I start saving for it. Currently I have the money saved for a new laptop or PC I'm just waiting for the right deal to come along. I also have about half of the money for my Canada vacation next year. I'm planning to use my Extra fund for the Canada vacation also. The Extra Fund is where I put all my rebates, CC rebates, loose change, bank bonuses, half com sales and other extra money that comes into my life in.

I read the library book Blue Smoke by Nora Roberts. Romance. Excellent book. She's such a great story teller.

smaller pants

October 29th, 2005 at 03:55 am

walked with mom for 55 min. My pants have been feeling lose the last couple of weeks. I had a smaller size in my closet and when I tried them on today, they fit great. I've lost two pants sizes since I started walking last March. I don't think I've lost any weight though which is weird.

I took one of my vacation days today. It was nice an relaxing. I have several days that have to be used up by the end of the year, so I'll be taking a series of 3 day weekends. I like those kinds of days off. When I was a machinist I worked night shift most often because that was my preference. I also worked 4 day work weeks. I loved that. I'd like to go back to that schedule. Having 3 days off a week is great. I hate having to do most of my errands on a Saturday or Sunday. It seems like the stores are so crowded and I get kind of claustrophobic around a lot of people, so half the time I give up and go home without finishing all my errands and then have to make another trip. Working only 4 days a week allows you a week day to do errands.

Went to the library and read two financial magazines.

I opened a Virtual Bank account today. If you have a referral, and if you open an account before Nov 30, 2005 for $100 they give you a $20 bonus. I've recently started reading MyMoneyBlog.com and Jonathan is giving referrals to Virtual Bank. He also has $10 referrals to Emigrant Bank. I'll probably open an Emigrant Account next month.

Here's the link if anyone is interested.

http://www.mymoneyblog.com/archives/2005/10/easy_bank_bonus.html

So far this year I've made $85 from opening bank accounts. Virtual Bank will make $105, Free money Smile

Finished reading the library book Afterburn by S.L. Viehl. Sci Fi. Very Good

Great Fun rebate

October 28th, 2005 at 04:09 am

walked with mom for 55 min

I got the Great Fun/Buy.com rebate for $25 in the mail today. That program turned out to be pretty good except for the gas cards. I signed up for a trial membership at $1 month and they sent me $20 Exxon/Mobile gas cards. Unfortunately we have no Exxon/Mobil gas stations in the state so I ended up giving them away. I think I found a web site that lets you swap cards two days later Frown They also had a deal for a $25 rebate from Buy.com. I spent 25.84 on books for xmas and got the $25 rebate today. I was about to write it off because it's been so long and I canceled the membership after a month so I was pretty happy to see it.

I didn't feel like cooking tonight so stopped at McDonalds for dinner. Spent $5.54 but I got a $3 Best Buy bucks coupon. Just have to remember to use. I think I have $7 total now almost enough for a CD.

Total spent so far this month = $461.87

It's interesting that Keeping it Frugal in Texas discussed her My Points points today. I just signed up for that program yesterday. Nice to know it worked for someone else.

I finished reading the library book One Shot by Lee Child. Mystery. Very Good.

only 1 more car payment

October 27th, 2005 at 03:22 am

walked with mom for 55 min

Made my second to last car payment today, only one more to go. So happy Smile

I got my citi dividend platinum select card bill today. This card gives you 5% back on gas, grocery and drugstore purchases and 1% on everything else. I see they have a referral program now. You can refer up to 5 people and for each one that is approved you get $25. If you have this card and know of anyone who wants one, that's a pretty cool deal.

I read this very scary article in Time magazine today. It's called Broken Promises and it's about how so many companies are defaulting on their pension promises. It's also about how unlikely it is that people will be able to retire the way our parents retired. Most people may not be able to retire at all. It talks about how underfunded all the company and governement pensions are and how overburdened they will become in the next few years. Talk of rising taxes and less pensions and SS benefits. It was pretty scary. My retirement planning doesn't rely on my two very small pension promises, but it does account for them and I hope I get to collect them. As for Social Security I'm hoping to get it, but could make it without. I'd be very unhappy about it though and life would be more skimpy than I would like. I guess the best I can do is keep saving and investing and pay attention to what's happening in the world. I'll have to make my final decision about if I'm truly comfortable retiring at 50 in a little more than 5 years. Even if I decide to work a few years longer for security, it's still a lot earlier than most people can retire.

Nesteggz rewards

October 26th, 2005 at 03:40 am

walked with mom for 35 min. After the time changes I'm going to have to move my walking to the middle of the day instead of going after work. I can't afford to take off and hour and a half in the middle of the work day so I plan to take 1 hour. We took a new route today to see what we can fit in that 1 hour time frame. That has to include driving to her house and driving back home, so this new route works pretty good. I normally don't take a lunch hour I just eat while I keep working and work a straight 8 hour day. It will probably be difficult for me about 4 the first few days when I realize I have to keep working till 5. At least I won't have to get on the freeway at 5 to come home.

I had another coupon for a free McDonalds breakfast so I got that this morning on the way into work. Normally I run errands after work, but I didn't have anything to do today, so I didn't spend any money. Very rare on days I go into town. It's pretty easy to not spend money when I'm basically home all day working Smile

Someone posted a link to PineCone research under the Freebies section of this website. PineCone is having a recruitment week. I signed up for it, but haven't heard anything yet. From what I've read it seems they are one of the most legit survey groups.

Someone sent me an email today regarding Nesteggz saying they were planning to join and wondering if I had a referral code to give them. I thought that was really nice. Anyways I went out to Nesteggz to see if they had a referral program since I didn't know of one, I usually don't pay attention until someone tells me Smile I found out that if I have an email address and a first and last name I can refer someone and they will get 5 Nesteggz bucks which translates to $5. After they build up $25 in the program I will get $5 for referring them. That's cool. I know I talked about Nesteggz in one of my previous posts. I think it's a pretty good rebate program, plus if you get their credit card you get 3% back on gas purchases and 1% on everything else. I've gotten several rebate checks from them so far.

I finished reading my book Born to be BAD by Sherrilyn Kenyon. Romance. Very good. A popcorn book.

embarrassed

October 25th, 2005 at 02:43 am

walked with mom for 55 min

Mailed the half.com book I sold of my mom's today. Cost = $1.84

Total spent so far this month = $456.33

While I was walking with my mom today, she asked me if I had looked in the book she gave me that I sold on half.com. I said no, it was in really good shape so I listed it as like new. Anyways she told me she had inked out all the swear words in the book and she thought the book was filthy so there were probably a lot of inked out words. I was horrified. I had already mailed the book. It wasn't her fault because she didn't even know I had listed the book. She said she had almost called me last night but forgot. I sure wish she had, because at least I wouldn't have mailed it already.

I emailed the buyer and told her about the change to the books status. I told her if she wants to keep the book I'd refund half her price and if she didn't want to keep the book, she could return it and I'd refund all the money. I'm really embarrased about this and I feel bad for her. She wrote back asking if she can still read the words in which case she will keep the book. I told her I don't know since I hadn't seen it. I doubt it, since my mom is the type to totally erase them. Oh well, that will teach me to pay more attention to my mom's books. I've only sold my books before and I know what's in them. I never write in my books and I just ignore swear words in books and movies. My mom's very sensitive to them.

I made mashed potatoes tonight to eat with my salmon. I had a bunch of little potatoes I needed to use up, so I made a lot of mashed potatoes and made potato salad with the leftovers. I love my potato salad. I got hamburger at 99/lb this week so plan to make some mini-meatloaves tomorrow or Wednesday to go with the potato salad.

I changed the percent I'm contributing to my 401K from 19% to 12%. I did this so the contributions last thru the rest of this year. That means I get the total matching amount from my company. It also means I'll be getting more in my paycheck for the rest of the year too.

Some companies are sneaky with how they match your 401K funds. They portion their matches out as if you were contributing throughout the year, if you stop contributing early because you maxed out, they stop contributing too, so you may not get your total match. For exampe, if you make 60K and if the company matches 5% of your salary. They will match $3000 divides by the number of paychecks in a year which would = 3000/26 or $115.38 each paycheck. Suppose you max out your contributions this month. There are 5 paychecks left this year. The company stops their contributions the same time you do, even though you've maxed out. So you lose out on 5 paychecks of contributions or $576.92. This is a little known rule that a lot of companies use and I think it stinks. I lost out on several years of full matching before I found this out, usually only100-200 a year, but it still stinks.

endless shrimp

October 24th, 2005 at 03:06 am

walked with mom for 55 min

Went to the grocery store this morning and spent $47.60 I saved 37% I had over $19 in coupons. I have a $3.99 rebate to send for also. I ended up with 3 free items.

Met my parents for lunch at Red Lobster. I love Red Lobster it's my second favorite restaurant. First is Outback. Anyways they were having thier endless shrimp deal. I pigged out. It was so good but I ate way too much. Spent $18.43 using my discounted gift cards.

My mom gave me a bunch of old books a while back to take to the used book store. They didn't want them so the other day I dug them out and listed them on half.com, I didn't think they would sell because some of them are 30 years old and a lot of them are religious books. But one of them sold today Dream Lovers - the story about Bobby Darin and Sandra Lee. It sold for $15. That's amazing Smile Anyways I called and told my mom about it, she hadn't known I listed the books. She thought it was pretty cool. Maybe it will inspire her to give me more to list. She has a bunch of old books she'll never read and my philosophy is get rid of it now instead of making me deal with it after they're gone Smile

I finished reading the library book Without Fail by Lee Child. Mystery. Very good.

Lazy day

October 23rd, 2005 at 03:15 am

Slow, lazy, relaxing day; the kind I love best.

Finished reading the library book The Persuader by Lee Child. Mystery. Very good.

Friday

October 22nd, 2005 at 03:17 am

walked with mom for 55 min

I'm so glad it's Friday, because I work from home most of the time I generally get up 5 - 10 min before work starts and stumble up the stairs to start working. I'm not a morning person in fact I hate mornings, it doesn't matter how much sleep I get I don't like to wake up and it's 10 times worse on cloudy days like today. Anyways I woke up at 7:00 this morning and looked at the clock and thought only one more day I can sleep in tomorrow. Smile I didn't actually get up at 7 instead I snoozed until 7:50 and then got up. I love to sleep, or even lie in bed day-dreaming, it's one of my most favorite things to do. And it's extremely cheap money wise, not so cheap timewise Frown

I checked my HSBC savings account today and saw that the $35 bonus was credited. More money for my extra fund Smile

I got a Tide with Febreeze and Bounce with Febreeze sample in the mail today to add to the other stuff for my brother's xmas. My sister sent me email and wanted to know what I wanted for xmas, still no clue on something I want. Both neices are getting MP3 players and I want to get them download cards. I don't know anything about MP3 players. Does anyone know of a good place to find deals on these kinds of cards?

Finished listening to the library book on tape Ten Big Ones by Janet Evanovich. Mystery. Very Good. Her books always crack me up they are so funny.

ordered new shower

October 21st, 2005 at 03:27 am

walked with mom for 55 min

The guy from the acrylic shower place came over today to give me a quote. To get new acrylic walls, a new shower base, new sliding glass doors and a shower caddy will cost $2579.22 After researching it I think this is the way I want to go. It has a lifetime guarantee, the walls and floor are non-porous so that means the hard water won't be staining them like normal tile or fiberglass. The other big plus is that the shower will be done in one day and can be used the next day, plus they cart all the bathroom debris away with them (the old doors and shower pan).

I really like the look too, I ordered Ivory marble for the walls in 12" simulated tile and a biscuit colored shower pan. I had to pay half today and will pay the second half when the shower is completed. I had a $100 off coupon and will get 1% back on my credit card so I saved a little bit there. This will take almost 3 months of my investment money though. I feel grateful that the money is there, even if it wasn't my prefered option for spending it, and I don't need to finance or charge it.

I finished reading the library book Urban Shaman by C.E. Murphy. Supernatural. Very good. This is a new author that I haven't read before. I always like finding new authors whose books I like. I will have to watch for the next one.

rebate day

October 20th, 2005 at 03:13 am

walked with mom for 55 min. It was really foggy and damp kind of cold but we did it anyways.

I forgot to mention I stopped at Walgreens on the way home yesterday and picked up this months rebate and sale items. Spent $18.69. I also stopped at King Soopers. They had Cheerios at $2.00 each. I got 3 boxes for $5 because I had a coupon for a dollar off.

Total spent this month = $388.46

I filled out several rebate forms today and mailed them. 1 for Walgreens for 10+. 1 for Sears shipping rebate for 8+ and one for my flex account for my dental appt and misc over the counter items. 122+ It will be nice when all of those come in Smile

I'm trying to accumulate all the freebies I can before xmas to give as part of my brother's gift. He hasn't had a job in 4 years and mostly lives off my parents. I'm trying to get food and household items to give him. I got a free sample of Wisk in the mail today that will join the pile. I'll buy my usual gourmet foods and grocery gift certificate for him also, but thought he could use the extras.

I finished listening to the library book on tape Summer in Eclipse Bay by Jayne Ann Krentz. Romance. Very Good.

sore eyes

October 19th, 2005 at 03:20 am

walked with mom for 55 min we barely had time to get our walk in. I didn't get home till 5:30 and we started at 5:45 it was almost dark by the time we were done. It's going to be very difficult to get walking time this winter. I hope I continue it though.

I had a coupon for a free breakfast at McDonalds so I stopped there on the way into work. I fixed my lunch so no spending there.

My eyes are really sore from looking at the computer all day the last two days. I guess my vacation got my eyes out of shape Smile I need to build my tolerance level back up.

When I got home my dad's xmas present had been delivered and left on my front porch.

Finished reading the library book The Truth-Teller's Tale by Sharon Shinn. Sci Fi. Kind of like a fairy tale. It would be a good book for teen or pre-teen.

back to work

October 18th, 2005 at 03:11 am

walked with mom for 45 min

Went back to work today. I had 253 emails to clear up. All in all though a pretty good first day back.

I got my electric bill today and I only used one KWH more than this time last year. Much better. For awhile I was using much more each month, so hopefully I can get this under control.

Finished reading Tyrannosaur Canyon by Douglas Preston. Adventure. Good book.

last day of vacation

October 17th, 2005 at 02:43 am

walked with mom for 55 min

Got groceries this morning, mostly produce, fruit, milk and eggs. Spent $19.53

Total spent so far this month = $364.77

Finished reading the library book Paths Not Taken by Simon Green. Sci Fi. Very good. This is part of a series that's very interesting.

Got some more cleaning done today and all my veggies for the week chopped. It's time to start eating better again, I've been eating out a lot during my vacation.

Feeling a little sad that my vacation is over so soon. It just whizzed by and I didn't accomplish nearly what I wanted to. I am feeling relaxed though so that's the most important part.

another lazy day

October 16th, 2005 at 01:27 am

walked with mom for 55 min

I basically frittered away another one of my vacation days today, but I have to admit I'm feeling very relaxed. Maybe too relaxed. Smile I really wanted to get my kitchen fall cleaned this week, but it's not going to happen. I'll get it about half way done and hope to finish by the end of the month. I woke up late today @9 and then took a two hour nap this afternoon.

Ah well, that's what vacations are for; to regroup for work. I've been under so much stress lately that I really needed this time off. I turn into a narrow-minded, intolerant b#tch% person after too many days of work crises and I don't like myself when I'm that way, so I should be going back to work in a much better frame of mind.

Went to McDonalds for lunch and spent $6.60

Total spent for vacation so far = $167.20

Finished reading my book It's in His Kiss by Julia Quinn. Romance. Good Story.

expensive day

October 15th, 2005 at 02:20 am

It's strange how so many of the journalists on this site went to the dentist this week. I sure hope I don't get the sickness that seems to be going around with journalists also Smile I went to the dentist this morning for basic cleaning, cost $95 which will be reimbursed by my flex account.

Afterwards mom and I spent the day shopping in town. Bought more xmas items plus lots of goodies for me.

Chilis - mom paid for lunch.
Gordmanns - 2 xmas gifts - $16.09 receipt says I saved $20.02
Bed Bath & Beyond - 2 xmas gifts, shower massager, back brush and pumice stone - $61.83
Media Play - 2 xmas gifts, 3 books for me - $41.84 after my $15 rebate, triple points day too
Cold Stone ice cream - $4 with tip
Dollar Tree - food - $7.07
Walgreens - electric throw - $37.58 help keep electric bill low; my other one isn't working.
Albertsons - gas at 2.75/gal - $26.09
Arby's - $5.12

Total spent this month = $345.24 - looks like I'll be going over budget this month again, I'll fill in with some of my leftover vacation money
Total spent for vacation = $160.60

Got my Emeril Sausage rebate today for $4.29

Got my Home Insurance bill today after I called last month to get it lowered. The actual bill was for $5 less than the quote so I saved $45 total.

Finished reading the library book And Then Came Love by Lynn Kurland. Romance. Good. Cute stories.

Colorado scenery

October 14th, 2005 at 03:50 am

My parents and I drove up to Georgetown and Idaho Springs today. These are small mining towns in the Colorado mountains. They are about 2 hours from us one way. The drive was really scenic and nice. Georgetown has a lot of little antique and gift shops as well as wonderful ice cream. I bought ice cream for all of us $10. We wandered through the town but I only bought a pair of earrings for $3.74

We went to Idaho Springs next which we hadn't visited before. It was mostly restaurants it seemed.

I took my parents to the Claim Jumper in Denver for a late anniversary present. They have wonderful food, and tons of it. I brought half my steak home and my Apple Cinnamon muffin. Spent $73.28 for dinner.

When we got back home I paid for the gas for the trip. 2.79/gal I spent $23.00

A fun vacation day. Total spent on vacation so far = $125.39

1 more xmas present done

October 13th, 2005 at 04:06 am

walked with mom for 55 min

Went in town today to run errands. Started at Walgreens where I spent $7.74. Next stop was the acrylic wall place for my shower redo. I really liked their displays I have an appointment for them to come out and give me a quote next Thursday.

Next I went to the Used Book Store in the same strip mall. I have around $200 credit at this store, but they also sell new books at half-price for cash. So I used up some of my credit but I also spent $21.21 on new books. Four of them were ones I had planned to get at Media Play so even at Media Plays sale price I save $1.50 per book buying from the Used Book Store.

Went to Big Lots after that and found a really cute set of Coca-Cola silverware for 9.99. Mom collects Coca-Cola memoribilia so I got those for her b-day.

Went to the library in town and got some back issues of magazines and a couple books.

Went to Barnes and Noble were I had another 15% off coupon and got one book for $6.56

Next went to PC Pennys and got a pair of silky pajamas my mom wanted for her b-day. Spent $30.07

Then went to Sonic for lunch and spent $4.93 followed by Schlotzsky's on the way home for a sandwich for dinner. Spent $3.97

After that I was tired of shopping and went home. When I walked in the door my sister was calling me to ask me to go pick up my niece at school since she had a migraine and was feeling nauseous. So I went and got her, the school is only a mile from me. She felt better after awhile and we watched Semi-homemade and 30 minutes meals on TV until her dad came and got her. She's starting to do some of the cooking for the family and enjoys watching cooking shows. I like to watch them too, ever once in a while I see a cool idea.

Total spent for vacation = $15.37
Total spent for month = $284.75

snow's melting away

October 12th, 2005 at 03:35 am

walked with mom for 55 min.

What's really great about CO is we can have a snowstorm drop a ton of snow on us and the next day it's sunny and warm and the snow melts away. All of it hasn't melted but a lot of it has and the roads are all clear.

Another relaxing day on my vacation but still not accomplishing much Smile

Went to the library and picked up my new holds.

Finished reading the library book Running Blind by Lee Child. Mystery. Very good.

another xmas present done

October 11th, 2005 at 03:49 am

no walking today we got 12" of snow. I have 3' drifts in my backyard and it's not done yet. Supposes to quit soon.

I had a lazy day again. Really need to get some stuff done, I'm frittering away my vacation. Spent some time shopping online. I wanted to get a gas leaf blower for my dad for xmas and I've looked at a couple places. Sears had a sale this weekend that ends tomorrow. Since I couldn't get to the store because of the snow I went ahead and ordered it online through my Nestegg account so I get 1% back, (big whoop) plus using the CC will get another 1% back (nother big whoop Smile and I'll get free shipping. It all adds up I guess. Anyways spent $101.81. My mom will give me $40 since I already bought him a book and a $25 GC to Outback. My budget for him is only $100. He's really hard to buy for usually but this year we had several ideas.

I finished reading the library book Beyond the Pale by Savannah Russe. Supernatural. It was OK nothing really special and kind of boring in spots. Probably won't read anything else she writes.

it's snowing

October 10th, 2005 at 02:41 am

I found a website that has some really good printable coupons at:

http://www.couponcabin.com/printable-coupons/index.htm

I printed off several for me and my mom. I got one for 15% off one item at Barnes and Noble so I went there today and got 1 book. With my Membership card and the coupon I saved 23% on the book and I paid with a 12% discounted gift card.

Next stop was Media Play where I thought they were having their triple points weekend, but it turns out it's next weekend. I had picked out 5 books to buy so I was glad I asked at the cash register. I told her I would just buy the newspaper and come back next week for the books. Spent $1.25

I met my parents for lunch at the Elephant Bar and got 20% off my meal with a coupon. Spent $11

Next I went to my friends house to check out her new bathrooms. She got acrylic walls put in. They were really nice.

On my way home I stopped at Target and went crazy. I bought 3 t-shirts and 1 work shirt. I love the colors this fall so I'm stocking up. I bought a red grill pan for my mom for xmas and another one for me so I can grill more than one night without having to wash the pan in between. I got a portable heater on sale for my office and some large mailers. Total spent was $116.98. I used $100 of my Target 12% discounted gift cards so got some savings there.

Total spent so far this month = $249.24

It's snowing here now and it's supposed to snow all day tomorrow. Turned my furnace on for the first time this fall. It's set at 60 degrees but it hasn't kicked in yet. I'm pretty warm in my sweats. I'll turn the temp down to 55 before I got to bed, I like to sleep with it cold. We'll see if it kicks on overnight.

Finished reading the library book Every Which Way But Dead by Kim Harrison. Supernatural. Pretty good book.

new cook book

October 9th, 2005 at 03:13 am

walked with mom for 55 min

I had a lazy day. I wanted to do some fall cleaning on my kitchen, but basically frittered the day away. Oh well I'm feeling relazed so it's all good Smile

Went to King Soopers for groceries and spent $38.50. $10 of that was for a book on quick and light meals. I plan to try several of the recipes I saw in the book.

Total spent so far this month = $179.60

late start to vacation

October 8th, 2005 at 03:24 am

walked with mom for 45 min

I got a late start to my vacation. I had told my boss I wanted to leave at 4 pm today when I had my 8 hours in, but he calls at the last minute and needs me to walk him through some stuff so I didn't quit till 5. That kind of thing really bothers me, I just don't think it's right that the company always wants just that little bit more. Oh well, my vacation has officially started. I really hope to relax this next week, but I usually plan too much. I have several sightseeing/shopping days planned and I really want to do some fall cleaning, plus lots of reading.

I went to Taco Bell tonight to celebrate my vacation and spent $6.47 this is in the vacation budget.

Total spent for vacation so far = $6.47

I finished reading my book The Octagonal Raven by L.E. Modesitt Jr. Sci Fi. Very good. Interesting story about ability and elites and society.

good mail week

October 7th, 2005 at 03:05 am

walked with mom for 55 min

I got a $10 Media Play gift certificate in the mail today and a free sample of Kellogs cereal. So far it's been a very good week for mail. Still waiting on a $25 rebate from buy.com and a couple smaller rebates.

1 more day till my vacation. yippee!

sold another book

October 6th, 2005 at 03:17 am

walked with mom for 55 min

Sold another book on half.com for $11 went to the post office after work and spent $1.84 on postage.

Total spent so far this month = $141.10

When I got back from my walk there was a huge package sitting on my front porch. It was the lamp I got for mom for xmas. I was starting to worry about it so was glad it showed up.

I also got a credit card rebate check for more than $57 in the mail.

It got really cold today and it's supposed to freeze tonight. I love it.

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

CO in the fall

October 5th, 2005 at 03:09 am

walked with mom for 55 min

Drove into work today. Ate lunch in the cafeteria and spent $5.56. Went to Souper Salad after work and had a coupon if purchase two meals get a $1 off each one. So spent $10.72 but now I have 2 dinners and 4 lunches. I had one of the salads and some of the bread for dinner tonight.

Got gas at Albertson's paid $2.79/gal spent $26.88 $1 of that was for the car wash. If you buy 8 gal of gas you get $2 off the car wash, that's a pretty good deal.

Total spent so far this month = $139.26

It's really gorgeous in CO right now, the trees are turning, flowers are still blooming since we haven't had a killing frost yet, I love it. It supposed to get cooler tonight and it's already rained this evening, but I like the cooler weather too.

working vacation

October 4th, 2005 at 02:29 am

walked with mom for 45 min

Parents wanted to eat out after walking so went to Village Inn for dinner. Spent $8.50

Total spent so far this month = $102.10

I'm going on vacation next week. I'm staying here to vacation not traveling anywhere. I like to vacation in Colorado especially at this time of year. Always lots of great scenery. Anyways I consider that my vacation starts Friday night after work and ends Monday morning of the day I return to work. My team lead had the nerve to ask me if I would be available to work Saturday morning at 3:00 AM. We are applying our software to the field so we do it in the middle of the night to cause the least disruption.

He says he knows I'm going on vacation but he wondered if I'm traveling. I said I consider my vacation to be officailly started Friday evening and that I have plans for Saturday that will be ruined if I have to stay up all night.
I originally picked my vacation date so I would be available to work the software patch, but it was moved three times and ended up this weekend. He approved my vacation time more than a month ago.

I felt pressured to do this, but I decided that stinks. The company wants you to use all your vacation time by the end of the year or you lose it so then they want you to work during your vacation. They give you more work than you can complete for the deadline and then want you to take your vacation days. I don't know how many people work 40 hour weeks in 4 days and then take a vacation day on the fifth day. Anyways bottom line is I resisted and he's running my tests this weekend. Hope I don't regret it in the future, but I know I'm a good worker and I'm tired of all the little ways the company intrudes in my life. I work more than 40 hours most weeks and I don't get paid for it. I get compensation time occassionally but it's not a one-to-one ratio. It's wrong and the economy has picked up enough around here that I'm feeling rebellious Smile

Finished reading the library book A Clean Kill by Leslie Glass. Mystery. Good Book

Also finished listening to The Wishsong of Shanarra by Terry Brooks. Sci Fi. Very good story.


North Pole

October 3rd, 2005 at 01:42 am

My sister dropped my youngest neice off at 8:30 this morning. We met one of my friends and her 4 year daughter at Village Inn for breakfast/lunch at 10:30. Spent $13.67

Then she drove us to the North Pole. The North Pole is in Divide, Colorado up in the mountains. It's an amusement park with a xmas theme. Many of the rides are geared towards very small children so it's really great for them. I had coupons for both of us for buy one admission get one free, so I spent $15.95 for me and my niece. We went on all the rides and walked through the park. Both kids had a great time and it was really fun watching them enjoy themselves. Plus my friend and I got to spend time visiting while they were on the rides. We got some ice cream in the park and I bought a quarter lb of peanut butter fudge for both of my nieces. Spent another $9.73 on that.

Afterwards we split up and I took my niece to dinner at Red Robin. Spent $14.97.

I was exhausted by the time I dropped her off back at home.

Total spent so far this month = $93.60

I finished reading the library book The Overspent American by Juliet B. Schor. Interesting book, but I don't agree that the government is the best choice for any social solution. She feels the government should impose consumption taxes on people to make them spend less. I believe it's up to individuals to decide how to spend their money, even if they are messing it up and going into debt to buy toys or whatever, it's still their choice and it's not up to the government to regulate their spending.

She also wants the stop the inequality in the distribution of wealth and income. Which would mean everyone gets the same amount of money regardless of how much work they do or how much their work is worth. Which would require taxing the so-called 'rich' and giving that money to the so-called 'poor'. This is wrong on so many levels I can't even start to discuss it. But the main issue is who defines rich and who defines poor and who deals with the underlining issues of why people are poor. The most basic description of being poor is lack of money, but giving the poor money rarely solves the problem of their being poor for the long term. People are poor for many more reasons than just not having enough money, such as not having an education, not having work skills, not having financial skills and a whole host of other issues including cultural ones. And while I am willing to contribute to causes that I believe will help allievate poverty I don't want to be required to give to those causes just because someone in the government has decided that I earn too much money and that they should take it away from me and give it to whoever they think should have it, which will most likely be government programs adminstering to the poor rather than to the actual poor.


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