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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.