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Archive for December, 2005

December goals

December 31st, 2005 at 08:17 pm

walked with mom for 55 min

My goals for December were:

1. Set financial goals for 2006 - Done

2. Save my 3rd paycheck - Done

3. Save 1000 over my 401K contribution - Done

4. Keep within $450 budget for groceries, gas, household expenses, - Done

Total spent was $425.17

Groceries - 139.35
Fast Food - 39.45
Restaurants - 52.62
Nieces - 17.27
Books/Newspapers - 56.90
Gas - 51.98
HBAs - 21.10
Enertainment - 5.06
Other - 41.44

5. Walk for at least 35 min 20 times or more - Done

Made all 5 goals for this month Smile

My networth increased 1.94% for the month.

Lay down for a nap this afternoon and ended up sleeping for 3 hours. I guess I was tired, I normally only nap for about an hour. That should help me stay awake to watch the fireworks. I have a great view of Pikes Peak from my office window. I can sit up here and watch the fireworks in comfort.

I hope everyone has a prosperous 2006.

shopping day

December 30th, 2005 at 10:13 pm

walked with mom for 55 min

Last vacation day of the year. Went into town. Home Depot first where I picked up the can of Gell Gloss that the shower people recommended for cleaning the shower - supposed to get rid of water spots. 16 oz can for $6.94

Next stop Media Play. What a zoo! It's going out of business at the end of January so everything was 40 60% off. Unfortunately they aren't selling any of their books, they had books there but they were all placed behind a boundary. Not sure why they won't sell thier books. They didn't have a lot of inventory of anything else left either. I had a gift card that I wanted to use up before everything was gone, so I spent about an hour and finally found 3 CDs I liked. Ended up costing me .06 cents.

Next stop was Barnes and Noble I had a 15% off one item coupon. I got 4 books and a magazine. 1 of the books was the glycemic index of different foods. I've been looking for that. The magazine was called Arthur Frommer's Smart Shopping. It was the premier issue. It was pretty good and had some good ideas I hadn't heard before, such as most Humane Society's will sell you nutritious dog food for 10 cents a lb. I'll look for the next one. It comes out 4 times a year. I got the Fall one so the next one should be out soon. Spent $31.56 but it was all gift cards so doesn't come out of budget.

Went to Sonic for lunch, spent 6.54

Got gas at Albertson's 2.07/gal spent $20.23

Total spent this month = $422.66

Last stop was library to pick up holds.

spagetti

December 29th, 2005 at 07:59 pm

walked with mom for 35 min

Went to McDonalds for lunch spent $5.54

Total spent this month = $388.89

I made spagetti for supper. I don't know what it is about spagetti noodles, but they never taste right to me, when I make them at home. I've tried several different methods from different cooking times to rinsing them after cooking. I don't have problems with any other kinds of noodles that I make, it's just spagetti. They're edible, but something is wrong. I've pretty much given up on them and mostly use other pasta types when I cook pasta. I had a yummy grilled salmon and egg noodle dish on Monday and the noodles were perfect.

Finished reading the library book One Grave Too Many by Beverly Connor. Forensic Mystery. Very Good. This is a new author similar to Patricia Cornwell books, but the characters aren't as strange. I put two more of this character's books on hold at the library and she has books about another character so I put a hold on one of those. Love it when I find a new author to read.

It's my 200th post too, Laura Smile Hard to believe.

comfy slippers

December 28th, 2005 at 07:07 pm

walked with mom for 35 min

Got the CD All Jacked UP by Gretchen Wilson for Christmas and listened to it today. I liked it but I liked her first one better.

My sister got me some great Isotoner slippers that have a hard sole and come up around my ankles. They are very cushy on the feet. I'll look for some when I'm at a store and see if I can get another pair. I generally keep one pair upstairs and one down, both my old ones are shedding and I need to get rid of them. I go barefoot most of the year, but I keep it cool enough to need slippers in the wintertime.

Finished listening to the library book on tape Angels and Demons by Dan Brown. Adventure. Very good.

Finished reading my book Kiss Me Annabel by Eloisa James. Romance. Good book, cute

Started pulling tax stuff together, got a printout of my final paycheck of the year and ran the numbers in my head. Think it will be pretty close with me owing a little bit.

shower's done

December 27th, 2005 at 07:52 pm

walked with mom for 35 min

back to work today, took an hour to deal with all the emails for 3 days off.

The shower guy came again today and installed the shower doors. It's finally all done. I do like it, but didn't like the whole experience. They gave me a $125.00 discount for all the aggravation, so that's nice. They didn't bring the warranty though or the cleaning instructions, so they are supposed to mail that to me. The installer told me to use Gel Gloss for cleaning, he said it removes the water spots. I checked and Home Depot has a 16 oz can for 5.98. I'll try to stop by and pick some up this weekend. I have a bad water spotting problem and I hate scrubbing Smile

I'm about $2000 away from making my networth goal for the year. Hope the stock market picks up a bit this week.

spreadsheets 101

December 26th, 2005 at 07:58 pm

walked with mom for 55 min

Spent about an hour setting up a networth spreadsheet for my parents and showing them how to work with spreadsheets. Hope they can use it now that it's done and that they will actually use it. It will make their lives easier. Also showed my mom how to set tabs on a Word document. She is finally getting to the point where she is more comfortable with computers and is even starting to figure out some things for herself, mostly having to do with shopping Smile She picked up email very quickly and corresponds with tons of people, she was always a big letter writer and sends cards to everyone for every occassion, so email was right up her alley.

My dad has never really used the computer, but says he wants to learn how to type letters on it. I did talk him into taking items to sell to one of those places that sells your things for you on ebay for a percentage. He was pretty happy with the amount of money he was getting from that, so I'd like to see him learn to do it for himself. Not sure if I can get him to that point anytime soon though.

Went to King Soopers and spent $33.22. Receipt says I saved 19%

Total spent this month = $383.35

Finished reading the library book The Blue Rose by Antony Eglin. Mystery. Ok won't read another book by this author, wasn't that interesting.

I have another goal to add to my financial goals

Reallocate my investments from 10% cash/bonds, 90% stocks to 15% cash/bonds, 85% stocks. The closer I get to retirement the more stable I need my investments to be, but I still need them to grow quite a bit too, so I'm slowly changing percentages.

Merry Christmas

December 25th, 2005 at 09:17 pm

walked with mom for 50 min

Had a great day. Loved watching nieces open presents. They really like the stuff I got them. My mom loved the Victorian Lady lamp I got her. Not sure how my dad felt about the leaf blower. My brother was blown away about the number of items I gave him. I gave him a huge box of food, plus freebies that I've been saving. When he opened the box my sister said, "You have to teach me how to do that" I told her it's pretty easy, but it takes time and attention.

Ate way too much, especially sweets. Dad grilled steaks and they were perfect. Everyone left about 3 and I stayed to play games with grandma and my parents.

I got mostly money since I couldn't think of anything I wanted. Nothing wrong with that Smile

I finished reading the library book The World Is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman. Political/Economics. Excellent book, I highly recommend this one. It was easy to read too.

Christmas Eve

December 24th, 2005 at 07:12 pm

Merry Christmas everyone. I hope you all have a really wonderful day and remember to tell everyone important that you love them. If at no other time, I try to make a point of letting people how much I love and appreciate them at Christmas. Before they give me gifts, of course Smile

I walked with mom for 55 min it was really nice, didn't even need a coat. It was 50 degrees and I wore a sweater.

My sister invited the whole family over for dinner tonight, but I told her I'd had enough of people this week. I know I'm weird, but because I spend so much time alone I guess I get stressed out when I'm around a lot of people for too many days in a row. I went to mom's to visit grandma on Monday, and again on Wednesday when the nieces were there, then spent the day at work in meeting after meeting on Tuesday. The shower installers were here on Thursday. And I plan to spend all day tomorrow with my family so I just didn't want to be around a big group of people tonight. My family thinks I'm anti-social and maybe I am, but I consider it more along the lines of knowing myself and what works for me.

I had a very relaxing day which I enjoyed a great deal. I read my book Matt by Leigh Greenwood. Romance. Ok Read another hundred pages of the World is Flat.

I had leftover Turkey, bean and noodle soup. I just finished watching The Year Without a Santa Clause. Love that show, but the songs get trapped in my head and drive me nuts. I also got to watch the cartoon Grinch another favorite.

I'm really looking forward to watching my nieces open their presents tomorrow. That's always my favorite part of Christmas anymore.

The Year without a Santa Claus

December 23rd, 2005 at 08:20 pm

walked with mom for 55 min. I guess one of my nieces messed up her computer last time they were there so I spent an hour fixing it back to the way she likes it. I removed the programs they downloaded. That seems very rude to me to download something on someone else's computer without asking. I told her to tell them not to do that.

Had another vacation day. This is nice to have 5 days off Smile

Went to the library and picked up my holds then went to McDonalds for lunch. Spent $7.07

Total spent this month = #352.13

Read another 100 pages of The World is Flat.

Finished reading the library book Chill Factor by Rachel Caine. Supernatural. Very good, third in the series.

I was trying to find The Year Without a Santa Claus playing on TV somewhere but no luck so far. That's my favorite Christmas show. I try to watch it every year.

shower installed finally

December 22nd, 2005 at 08:03 pm

walked with mom for 35 min

The shower installer guys came today and put my new base, shower caddy and acrylic walls in, they brought the wrong shower doors so now have to come back next Tuesday to install those. I like the shower and I like the way it looks, but I'm definetely not impressed with the overall experience. I ordered the shower on Oct 17 and was told it would be a month, maybe less. Well it was 6 weeks and I had to call twice to get that first appointment. Then they canceled twice and finally showed up late today, and now have to come back next week. I might recommend this type of shower install to someone else, but I wouldn't recommend this company. I don't know how they expect to stay in business, when it's such a competitive market.

I used another vacation day today and got all my presents wrapped. I had my dad come over and pick up my brothers package because it was too heavy for me to carry after I put everything in the box. It was a big box a little larger than a copier paper box. I filled it to the brim with the food items I got him and all the freebies I've been saving. It'll take him a half hour to look through everything.

Sent off my December Walgreens rebate for $10

Finished listening to the library book on tape Flash by Jayne Ann Krentz. Romance. Very good

Read about a 100 more pages of the World is Flat.

Finished reading the library book Heat Stroke by Rachel Caine. Supernatural. Very good, second in the series.

I made Turkey, bean, noodle soup today. I couldn't find a recipe I thought looked really good, so I basically just put stuff together.

I combined pinto beans and white beans, chicken broth, celery, carrots, onions, tomatoes, oregano, basil, salt and pepper, turkey and noodles and a little bit of hot sauce. I thought it tasted pretty good. I have enough left for 3 more meals. I didn't pay attention to how much of each ingredient I used, so don't know the cost per serving.

I'm not doing so good with my glycemic diet. Every either makes me candy or cookies or big meals or I just have no willpower. Will try to do better after Christmas.

the World is Flat

December 21st, 2005 at 08:37 pm

walked with mom for 35 min

I went to mom's for dinner tonight, she had enchiladas, yummy. She has my nieces and my grandmother spending the night, so I went over to play games. I started reading the World is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman. It's a really interesting book and easy to read. Anyways I was talking about some of it's premises with my nieces. Basically how they need to be careful when they pick their careers because they will be competing against everyone in the whole world. We had a really good conversation about careers and life and how the world works and the things they are studying right now. I love that, exchanging ideas and seeing how they think, having actual conversations, they are getting to the age where you don't talk at them as much as talk with them. The youngest niece is really clever, she has a tricky mind and comes up with brilliant things that are different from everyone else. The oldest niece is a humanitarian, she feels everyone's pain.

One of the things the book talks about, that I thought was different is that there is a call center for some McDonalds now. What happens is someone drives up to a McDonalds and places their order to a call center that might be two states away. The drive through takes a picture of the person taking the order and sends it with the order to the kitchen, then they make it and match up the picture and give the person their order. Then they throw the picture away. They said it increases their productivity by 30% and decreased foods errors to only 2%. Pretty weird. Last time I was at Wal-Mart they put in a self-service checkout that even reads coupons. Pretty soon there won't even be low-level/entry jobs for school kids and retirees to do, except maybe working at call centers. The world is changing so fast, I just hope I can keep up for the next 5 years and then be able to retire.

energy costs rising

December 20th, 2005 at 07:34 pm

went into the office today, so many meetings and brainstorming sessions, really tired. I think brain work is more tiring than physical work I know when I went to school even though I enjoyed learning new things it was exhausting to spend all day learning.

Spent $7.05 on dinner at Wendy's

Total spent this month = $345.06

Good mail day today. Pinecone survey check for $5, Noxema rebate check for $3.99 and sample of Tylenol EZ tabs from Wal-Mart. And then there was the bad mail Smile a notice from the Electric company about rate increases in January. $1.00 for fixed cost increases and 2.2% for KWH. I guess I'll get one from the gas company next. I already got a letter from them saying the budget account is going to be adjusted next month due to higher natural gas prices. I currently have a small credit with them, so it will be interesting to see what the increase will be.

Finished reading my book Pursuit by Thomas Perry. Mystery. Very good.

2006 Financial Goals

December 19th, 2005 at 08:53 pm

walked with mom for 35 min

Spent $1.84 at the post office

Total spent this month = $338.01

Thanks for the book suggestion robex. I couldn't find the book in my local library so I put a hold on it through the Inter-Library loan system.

My grandmother is staying at my mom's house this week until after Christmas, so I went over there tonight to visit with her. Had dinner and played cards.

I finally decided on my Financial goals for 2006

Fully fund 401K - 15,000
Save 4000 for 2007 Roth IRA (already have the money saved for 2006 investment in January)
Pay down mortgage from 135,598.11 to 120,000.00
Put 5000 in I-bonds for girls college
Put 4000 in emergency fund
Go on Canada train trip and spend < 3000.00 (I have 2500.00 of this already saved)
Save 1800 towards new car fund
Increase net worth by 60,000 - this will be tricky because it mostly depends on the stock market.

It's a pretty aggressive target, but I think I can make everything except the net worth and that's up to the market, and providing nothing serious happens where I have to divert money from one area to another.

lazy sunday

December 18th, 2005 at 08:02 pm

Spent 1.25 on a newspaper.

Total spent this month = $336.17

Redeemed my points at Citi card for two $50 GCs to Barnes and Noble

Fixed the turkey I got in the SHARE package yesterday, it was good, had boiled potatoes, green beans and two rolls with it and had a small piece of the apple pie for dessert. All very good. I have enough turkey for about 10 more meals. I think I'll try to find a turkey noodle soup recipe to try out. I had an excellent chicken noodle soup that I got at Souper Salad last time I went.

Sold another book at half com for 2.50

SHARE pickup

December 17th, 2005 at 09:10 pm

My dad and I went to get our SHARE orders this morning. I got the Christmas special for $26 which consists of the following items

3 lb. Boneless honey tavern ham
3 lb. Boneless turkey breast
9" Apple pie
15 oz. Can pineapple
15 oz. Can French cut beans
12 ct. Brown and serve rolls
1 lb Carrots
1 Bunch celery
3 ea. Yellow onions
6 ea. Russets
4 ea. Apples
5 ea. Bananas
5 ea. Navel oranges

Everything looked really good and now I don't need to go to the grocery store this week. I think I'll cook the Turkey tomorrow and then cut it up and freeze most of it. I left the ham frozen and may cook it next weekend.

I also got my new CITI CC with the $100 reward points. I'll check out their reward site tomorrow to cash it in. I still haven't got the $100 from Visa and it's been almost 3 months they said it would take 8 - 12 weeks so will give them to the first of the year before calling to find out what's going on.

Finished reading the library book Ill Wind by Rachel Caine. Sci Fi. Very good. This is a new author for me, but she has 3 more books out in this series that I will get and read.

xmas shopping is done

December 16th, 2005 at 07:47 pm

Had the day off for vacation time so met a friend and her child for lunch at Zios. Spent an hour and a half catching up. We exchanged gifts. Her little girl is so cute, she's 4, but she talks so low I have a really hard time hearing her in a noisy restaurant. I got a $20 GC to Barnes and Noble. I exchange tons of books with this friend so she knows that's a good choice for me Smile I bought her 4 new books and her child a My Scene doll with motorcycle, a sticker book and crayons to color the bath with.

I ran errands while I was in town.

Post Office - picked up my package from Yves Rocher. Really liked he 2 cute pine tree candles I ordered. They look great in front of one of my dollhouses. Perfect size.
King Soopers - got a $25 GC for my grandma's xmas present. That's the last one, xmas shopping is complete!
Barnes and Noble - $6.52 had 10% off one item printable coupon
Big Lots - tried to return the coca-cola silverware I bought for my mom's b-day that was missing 3 servings. I had the reciept but they wouldn't refund my money because I had purchased it two months earlier. They said I should have opened the box when I got home and returned it then. I explained about it being a b-day present that had just got opened on Sunday, but they wouldn't budge. That makes me really mad. They ripped me off and won't do anything about it. I don't know about anyone else, but I often buy presents months in advance and put them on a shelf until I need them. I don't open the boxes, unless it's a mail order item and then just to verify I got the right item and it's not broken. Anyways I won't be going back there to shop.
Staples - $68.80 on print refills for all 4 colors and $5 on a No Soliciting sign to put in my door. Had a 12% off coupon that I printed out from online. The print refills come out of my maintenance/repair budget.
Bank - deposited refund checks, added 20.98 to my Extra fund
Zios - $14.82
Sonic - got a $10 gift card for mom to replace the silverware
Red Robin - $50 got two $25 gift cards and got $5 extra for each card. This comes out of my stock up budget
Library - picked up my holds

Total spent this month = $334.92

Got a $5 Media Play certificate in the mail and a $3.62 Walgreens rebate

Finished reading my book Drew by Leigh Greenwood. Romance. Ok popcorn book

vanguard

December 14th, 2005 at 08:12 pm

walked with mom for 35 min

Invested $3000 in my Small Cap index fund at Vanguard. Last investment of the year aside from my 401K for the year.
Increased my 401K contributions back up to 19% for next year.
Increased my W4 deductions from 0 to 2. I hope I'm back on track for income taxes next year.

Had another Pinecone survey today. I'm getting about one a week, which is nice.

My mom collects Coca-Cola stuff and I had bought her a set of Coca-Cola silverware as part of her bday present. When she opened up the box it only had one set of silverware, it was supposed to have 4. I bought it at Big Lots in Oct so I know they won't have another one. I'm going to try to get my money back, but not sure I can, even though I have the receipt, since it was purchased 2 months ago. Real bummer for her. Now I need to find something else for her present and give it to her for xmas. I don't have any ideas right now.

Finished reading my book Forever Blue by Suzanne Brockmann. Romance. Good popcorn book.

reading

December 13th, 2005 at 08:15 pm

Went into work today. Lot's of people on vacation right now, place was emptier than usual.

Spent $5.50 for lunch in cafeteria
Got 10 cents a gal off gas at King Soopers. Paid 1.99/gal and spent $15.29
Got my free Souper Salad meal on the way home. I got a free meal for buying a $25 gift card.

Total spent this month = $308.58

Finished reading my book Red Lily by Nora Roberts. Romance. Very good. Third in a trilogy. Reading is a big priority for me, it's my number one way to reduce stress, relax and enjoy myself. I like a wide variety of books so it seems like there's almost always something new out by an author that I like. I don't know what I would do without the library. I could easily spend $150 - $200 hundred more per month than I do now if I didn't have library books to read. I'm also very fortunate that I can listen to books while I'm working at home. Anytime I'm working on something that doesn't require a lot of concentration I can listen to a book. I probably listen to books about 3 hours a day and I usually read between 3 and 4 hours a day. Since I don't have to commute most days I get a little more time out of the day. I used to average a book a day, but I don't think I read quite that much anymore. My eyes tend to hurt more in the evenings and I get sleepy, middle-age creeping up on me Smile I probably average 5 books a week now.

post office day

December 12th, 2005 at 07:39 pm

walked with mom for 35 min

Went to post office and mailed half.com book. Spent $1.42

Total spent this month = $287.79

Mailed my property tax check for next year for $1333.80. I'll probably owe a little more once I get the actual bill. I pay it early to take the deduction on this year's tax return.

Mailed the Tums rebate for $3.99.

Got a $5 check in the mail from Pinecone.

Finished listening to the library book on tape The Eleventh Hour by Cathering Coulter. Romance/Mystery. Very good.

mom's b-day

December 11th, 2005 at 06:13 pm

walked with mom for 55 min

Went to King Soopers and spent $59.75 which is a lot for me. But they had Kuner's beans on sale so I stocked up with pinto, kidney and chili beans. .50 cents a can. They also had Kroger diced tomotoes on sale at .50 a can and I stocked up on those also, as well as hamburger for 99 cents a lb. $7.00 of the 59.75 went for a paperback and a newspaper. The reciept says I saved 30% or $26.

Went to Walgreens and spent $14.24 and will get $3.59 back on a rebate for Tums Cocoa and Cream 60 ct. I had a $1.00 coupon so they paid me to buy this. Also got other household items on sale, like Kleenex and wax paper. Saved 47%

Total spent this month = $286.37

My mom's b-day is tomorrow, so my brother and sister and her family and I all met my parents at Macaroni Grill for lunch. Dad paid. I gave mom her b-day present of silky pajamas, coca-cola silverware and cinnamon bears. She seemed to like it all.

cookie decorating

December 10th, 2005 at 09:33 pm

walked with mom for 55 min today, felt good.

Got my haricut, had a $2 off coupon, spent $12
Got some sugar cookie dough and frosting and decorating stuff $17.27
Went to McDonalds for lunch $7.66

Total spent this month = $212.98

I got a Longs rebate in the mail for $10.98
Sold a half.com book for $4

My sister and BIL had a party to go to so they dropped my nieces off at 4. We baked and decorated 48 sugar cookies. We made a paper plate of cookies for my mom and dad, my sister and bil and both girls, 6 plates total. We had a good time. It always amazes me how creative they are. Unfortunately I have a bunch of left over cookie dough that I froze as well as 2 mostly full cans of frosting. Don't have a clue what to do with them since I shouldn't be eating them. Hate to throw them away, but if I keep them I know I'll eventually give in to the temptation. I think I'll ask my mom if she's planning to do anything that needs frosting in the near future.

We ordered the Dominos Pizza 555 deal. 3 pizzas for $5 each. My nieces don't like the same food, ever, so it was just easier to get everyone their own pizza. My sister paid for it. I sent the leftovers of the girls pizza home, but I still have 2 meals of mine left for this week.

We watched Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone since it was on TV. It's amazing how young those actors look in the first movie. Then we watched one of my old videos, a musical called Bugsy Malone, with a young Scott Baio and Jodie Foster. The kids loved it. I like musicals and have several of them on tape. My oldest niece has gotten very interested in them lately and wants to rewatch all of them.

I finished reading the library book The G-Index Diet by Richard N. Podell. This book was better than the last one I read about the G-Index. It gave a lot more information about what foods you can and can't eat and more ideas on menus, plus a whole chapter on eating out. I figure right now I need to keep researching this to reinforce the things I'm reading.

Here's a website where they have a really cool video of a house with xmas lights that blink in time to music. It takes a bit of time to load. My first thought was someone has way too much time, but I still thought it was neat.

http://media.putfile.com/WizardsofWinter-SM

day off

December 9th, 2005 at 08:21 pm

I started working this morning and about 9:00 I went to fill out my timecard for the week. I noticed I have 40 hours of vacation left, but I'm only scheduled to take 3 days before the end of the year. We have to use it or lose it. Anyways I'm waiting for other people to do work before I can do my work and was just doing fill in type work updating documents, cleaning out mail, etc, until it was ready so I called my boss and asked for today off, since I'm waiting anyways. So I got an unexpected vacation day. I still have 4 to take before the end of the year.

The sun was shining and the weather got up to 37 so I went into town. Met my parents for lunch at Ruby Tuesday's and spent $9.56. I love their salad and baked potato combo. That's pretty much what I order every time I'm there. I'll get 4% back on my CC for eating there. Then we went to Borders and I showed my mom a Dragon calendar I want and gave her a 15% off coupon that I had printed off from the internet. I have lots of dragons, unicorns, griffins, gargoyles etc in my house. I especially like dragons.

Total spent this month = $176.05

I went to the big library in town and picked up some books on tape, a magazine and some reading books.

Then went to the local libary and picked up my holds.

Went to the dollar store and spent $7.49 on gift bags and wrapping paper. I have a lot of big gifts this year and don't want to wrap them so got 2 big plastic gift bags for $1 ea and 2 big paper gift bags for $1 each and then some wrapping paper that I can use for some of the smaller items.

I got a $10 refund from Media Play in the mail.

Finished reading my book Pete by Leigh Greenwood. Romance. Ok, nothing special.

delayed shower installation

December 8th, 2005 at 08:26 pm

well it got back up to 30 today still cold but not so unbearable.

I was supposed to get my shower installed tomorrow, but the installer has strep throat so they rescheduled for Dec 19. My niece had strep throat this week too. Must be going around now. That's another benefit of working from home most the time. I'm not around so many sick people and since I'm only in the office one day a week I think my immune system is strong enough to fight the germs off for that one day Smile

I've been so busy with work recently I haven't had a lot of time to spend on finances, but in the back of my mind I've been mulling over ideas/goals for next year. I'm about 90% sure I'm going to start pre-paying my mortgage. It's more of an emotional decision rather than a numbers decision. I want to get it paid off before I retire and 5 years is not a lot of time to pay off $135,000. I'm about 1 and half years into the 30 year mortgage so the money I pre-pay now goes a long ways towards saving on interest payments. If I pay an extra $1000 a month I save $2500 in interest payments. Hard to beat that kind of return. I lose some of that in tax refunds but not very much at the beginning of the mortgage.

My mom and sister are both bugging me for xmas ideas and I still can't think of anything. I just told them either forget about, it won't bother me if they don't spend as much as usual, or if they have to, then I'll take gift certificates. So I gave them a list of book stores and restaurants that I go to all the time. I'm sure they'll do the GCs over not buying anything, but I truly wouldn't mind. However, I think they would mind. My birthday is in Jan and they want ideas for that too.

I told my mom I was looking around last night and thinking about it and I just said to myself I truly have everything I want for my house. I can't think of anything I need/want right now. And most of the time I do feel blessed. Nothing is ever perfect and I bitch as much as the next person but when I truly think about my life I am so happy. I have a life that is perfect for me. I have a beautiful townhome that has plenty of space. I don't have to take care of the snow or yard. I have a great view of the mountains from my office. I get to work from home 4 days a week. I have a good job that I enjoy 80% of the time. I'm appreciated in my job and make good money. I have more than enough to meet my bills and can save a large amount of my salary. I have nice furniture, books, CDs, cable, a good car, good food and money to indulge in my hobby. I have good friends to get together and do things and talk with. I have family close by, who I get along with and who help me out as needed. I have two nieces who I love and who love me. I am mostly healthy and am working to make myself healthier. I have a good life. What more could I ask for?

Finished reading the library book Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris. Mystery. Ok. I like some of her other series better, like the Shakespear series with Lily Bard and the Vampire series with Sookie.

increased 401k matching

December 7th, 2005 at 08:46 pm

It's -13 right now, this is the coldest it's been around here for a long time. I'm quite ready for it to warm up to at least the 30s. A neighbor stopped by to check on me and told me my garage door was up. That might be part of the reason my furnace has been running so much. Frown I must have forgot to close it when I brought in the trash can yesterday.

I got some good news today after the company merger early next year they will increase our 401k match from 5 to 6% and if the company does good financially they could kick in another 3% making a 9% match. Good deal, free money. Also there is the possibility the new company will have bonuses in the first quarter. Not counting on anything, but it's nice to know there's potential for profit Smile

I purchased the Christmas special from SHARE today for $27.50

Total spent this month = $166.29

I was cleaning my shower tonight and a big picture I have on the wall fell down and the glass broke into a million pieces. Had to spend an extra half hour cleaning it up and now I need a new piece of glass. I might just buy a new frame from Michaels with a 40% off coupon. I was in my bare feet so I had to really careful getting out and getting to the next room for shoes.

Finished reading my book Riptide by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. Adventure. Very good.

-2 degrees

December 6th, 2005 at 07:48 pm

no walking today it snowed again. I think if I want to continue the benefits of my walking regime I'm going to have to start using my treadmill, boring! It's hard for me to talk myself into using it, but the way it's snowing every other day that might be the only exercize I get all winter.

I drove in to work this morning and the sun was shining, a beautiful day. It started snowing around 11:00 am and it's still snowing, supposed to snow through tomorrow. Currently it's -2 and the high today was 15 degrees. I came home from work early, (around noon), because I heard they were having whiteouts up where I live. I worked a few hours after that then quit early because of a sinus headache. I usually get those with quick moving weather.

I have the heater set to 62 degrees and it's been running non-stop all afternoon.

I was watching a show on HGTV called Designed to Sell where people fix up their houses so they can sell them for more money. The concept of this amazes me, why spend all that money and hard work fixing up your house just to sell it? Why not fix it up and make it look great while you're living there? I don't get it, don't they want to live in a nice place? Why fix it up for someone else to enjoy?

Thanks to all of Flash's shopping tricks I went to the YvesRoche site and spent $9.83 on a last minute gift for my oldest niece. $4.95 of that was shipping, but I get a real pretty crystal watch and earring set as a free gift with my purchases that I'm sure she'll like, as well as 3 candles for myself and a sampler of their products which I'll give to my niece also. They had two cute candles that look and smell like pine trees. My hobby is miniature rooms and I'm hoping to use them in one of the rooms if they are the right size, if not I'll use them as decorations. I overspent on the younger niece and had to buy something small to get the amount right between the two of them.

Got another Pinecone survey to do today. Sent off for my Parker Bros rebates on the Monopoly and Twister games I bought. $5.00

I finished listening to the library book on tape Eleven On Top by Janet Evanovich. Mystery. Excellent as usual.

walking on icy roads

December 5th, 2005 at 07:15 pm

walked with mom for 35 minutes. The roads were pretty slick, but the sun was shining. I told mom if we wait for good walking conditions we won't walk all winter so we should at least try on sunny days. It was still freezing and very icy, but nobody fell. I fell on the ice about 20 years ago and bounced. I broke my ankle in 3 places so I'm very leery of ice. I don't want to have that experience again, but I also don't want to lose the momentum I've built up walking for the last 8 months.

Finished reading the library book The G.I. Glycemic Index Diet book by Rick Gallop. Pretty Good. I'm reading a bunch of stuff about the G.I. Diet right now as an aid to losing weight and controlling diabetes. I started it today and feel really good. Not hungry at all and the food was all things I like to eat. So far, so good. I'm reading more books about this subject as I go to reinforce the concepts. This may not be the best month to start, but I feel like I'm ready so I'm going for it.

only 1 xmas gift to go

December 4th, 2005 at 05:52 pm

I woke up this morning to blue skies and sun. The snow started to melt so I decided to go in town after all.

Safeway, spent $26.46
Walgreens - $21.10 - will get $10 gc back
Albertson's fuel - $16.06 1.94/gal
Media Play - $101.08 (triple points day so will get 15% back + 4% back on CC) $65.47 of this was for youngest nieces xmas gift. Got her two gameboy games (Narnia and Pokemon), a CD and a Polly Pocket toy. The rest went for 3 books for me and a new CD.
Outback $14.00 - met parents and used 10% off gc, brought half my steak home for another meal.
KMart - $16.10 - a little miffed about this. Yesterday my niece told me she wanted Twister. I wish she had told me earlier. On Thanksgiving day these games were buy one get one free. Even yesterday they were 25% off, but I had to wait to buy them when they were full price Frown Oh well, I do have a $2 rebate for the game and I know she gets something she wants
Barnes and Noble - $6.52 had a 10% off coupon, plus get 10% off with membership card, plus paid with 10% discounted gift cards

That completes my nieces xmas and now I only need to buy a gc at King Soopers for my grandma and I'm done shopping for xmas. Now comes the worst part, wrapping. Smile

Total spent so far this month = $138.79

Harry Potter movie

December 3rd, 2005 at 07:22 pm

It snowed today and snowed and snowed and snowed Smile I think we have about 6 inches right now. Bad thing is it's supposed to snow for the next 3 days. I had things I wanted to do in town tomorrow, but don't plan to go in now. If the snow quits for a while I'd like to make a quick trip to the grocery store that's close to me and the library to pick up my holds. We'll see.

I was actually being good this weekend and working on cleaning my house, (long overdue) when my sister called and asked if I wanted to go see Harry Potter with her and the girls, well I couldn't say no to that. Smile So we went and had a good time. It's a very good movie and wasn't too crowded. When we came out of the movie though the roads were really bad. The freeway was a mess and we crawled home. Glad I wasn't driving.

Spent $5 on movie. Total this month = $19.04

I got a $5 check from Pinecone in the mail and a notice from the Home Owner's Association that our dues will go up $10 a month starting next month Frown It seems like no matter what you do to cut your expenses other expenses increase and you're basically back where you started. I guess it's better to tread water than to go under.

With Direct TV I get free Showtime movie channels this weekend. So far I haven't seen one thing I want to watch. Good thing I'm not paying for this.

help with car

December 2nd, 2005 at 08:01 pm

Paid for my car license today 145+ less than last year since car is one year older.

Got my new CC that gives 3% back on the restautant purchases plus $100 the first time i use it. I used it tonight at Village Inn. My dad drove my car into the service station for recall work for me so I wouldn't have to take off work and wait while it was done. Mom was going in town so they got my car and dropped it off and then went ahead and did their stuff in their car, then they picked my car up and brought it home. Very nice and a big help to me. We went to dinner and I spent $14.04 I picked up taxes and tip for all 3 meals, plus got another piece of their pumpkin pie to bring home.

Total spent so far this month = $14.04

Finished listening to the library book on tape Contest by Matthew Reilly. Adventure/Sci Fi. Very good

Finished reading Chet by Leigh Greenwood. Romance. OK

I think I'll go to bed early tonight, for some reason I'm really sleepy.

Dec goals

December 1st, 2005 at 07:55 pm

walked with mom for 35 min

I get 3 paychecks in Dec instead of the normal 2. Always a good thing Smile

My goals for December are:

1. Set financial goals for 2006

2. Save my 3rd paycheck

3. Save 1000 over my 401K contribution

4. Keep within $450 budget for groceries, gas, household expenses, etc

5. Walk for at least 35 min 20 times or more

I finished reading Kissed a Sad Goodbye by Deborah Crombie. Mystery. OK this was a new author and I have another book by her which I'll read, but probably won't get anymore of her books. It took me three days to read because it wasn't capturing my attention.