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Archive for January, 2006

January Goals

February 1st, 2006 at 02:47 am

walked with mom for 35 min

I thought this week would be better than last week, but so far it's been just as long. It's not quite as stressful and I've only been working 10 hour days instead of 12 hour days Smile

My goals for January were:

1. Pre-pay mortgage by 1500.00 - Done

2. Walk 20 times for at least 35 min - Done

3. Spend $450 or less for household items - Spent $397.81

Breakdown was:

Groceries - $146.32
Eating Out - $75.91
Books/Newspapers - $41.71
Gas - $27.37
HBAs - $29.36
Entertainment - $5.50
Other - $71.64

4. Try to follow Glycemic Index eating plan - probably about 80%, could improve here, but lost 6 lbs so must be doing something right.

5. Work on taxes, try to have ready to send by Jan 31 - didn't make this one, because of extra work load and new computer. Will try to finish these next weekend.

My networth increased by 5.01% for the month. That's very good.

Finished listening to the library book on tape A Stroke of Midnight by Laurell K. Hamilton. Supernatural/Romance. Very, very good. Very sexy.

Glycemic index working

January 30th, 2006 at 04:57 am

walked with mom for 55 min

Sunday is generally my errand day for the week. Started at King Soopers for groceries. Spent $33.93, receipt says I saved 34%. I got 3 small bottles of liquid Tide free after coupons. I will give them to my Grandma.

Del Monte canned tomatoes were on sale and I had some coupons that brought the cost down to 45 cents a can. They also had their new organic canned tomatoes next to the reqular ones. They wanted 1.99/can. Unreal! I just can't imagine paying 2 dollars for a can of tomatoes just because they have the word organic on them.

Got my haircut next, had a $2 coupon, spent $12. Felt so good. it had grown 2" in the last 7 weeks. Not sure why.

Next stop Walgreens where I spent $29.56 on household items, a new atomic alarm clock and a new wrist watch. I got paid a $1.00 to buy a bottle of Fructis Garnier shampoo which I'll give to my niece. It's free after rebate and I had a $1.00 off coupon. I will also get $3.00 back on the alarm clock. My other alarm clock broke and my wrist watch band is about to go. I buy a cheap, (under $10) watch about once a year. I'm hard on them and don't want to purchase an expensive one that will break.

I got back to my car and realize I forgot to get the USB cord for my printer. They had their cords on sale at 25% off. So went back and spent $10.46 for a 6' cord that is a universal cable. It's pretty cool, it's 6 cables in one. Has 6 adapters you can plug onto the end to make it whatever kind of USB cord you need.

I went to Borders next and got one book for $6.86 Had a 20% off coupon and used my Discover rebate card to buy it.

Then I went to the Dollar Store for spices. Bought one jar each onion powder, garlic powder, powdered nutmeg and chili powder. Spent $4

Last stop was Outback where I met my parents for lunch. Spent $13.80 using my 10% discounted gift card.

I've lost 6 lbs since the first of the month. I feel like I'm eating a lot still, but I'm eating mostly the low glycemic index foods, so it must be working. I'll take it anyways, whatever the reason. Smile


Didn't get back to the new computer, took a nap after my walk and then made oatmeal for the week and vacuumed the downstairs. Then watched the European ice skating championships.

Finished reading the library book Windfall by Rachel Caine. Sci/Fi. Good. Fourth in the series. I'm getting a little tired of the story, not sure if I'll read the next one when it come out this fall.

technology

January 29th, 2006 at 04:22 am

walked with mom for 55 min

Got my computer put together and up and running. Even got connected to the Internet. This was the first site I added to my Favorites list.

I didn't get my printer configured because I need a longer USB cord. I also still need to install the TaxCut and Money software, which I'll probably do tomorrow.

I had to make a trip to Radio Shack to get a new power strip. When my parents moved close to me last year I setup their computer for them and since they couldn't find their power strip I came home and got an extra one from my closet and we used it. When they finally found their power strip dad gave it to me. It's been sitting in the closet until today. I knew it was too short, about 3 feet, my old one was 6 feet. Anyways when I plugged it in, it didn't work. So since we have a Radio Shack about a mile from me I went and got one. Cost $37.40

I got the printer setup except for getting it connected to the computer. I had just bought $75 of new ink cartridges for my old printer from Staples in December. I'm going to see if they will take them back and let me get the new cartridges to keep in reserve.

I get connected to the internet and i have 6 Microsoft patches that need to be installed and of course most of them require reboots after installation, so spent quite a bit of time doing that. That's pretty ridiculous to have to spend half a day installing patches on a brand new computer.

If someone ever creats a true plug in and work computer they would make a fortune.

TGIF

January 28th, 2006 at 04:39 am

Walked with mom for 55 min

This week has been forever. So glad it's Friday. I still haven't had time to set up my new computer. I plan to do that first thing tomorrow morning. Also my house is a total disaster area, I can't stand it, so expect to spend a lot of time this weekend cleaning. Whatever time is left will be spent sleeping.

I was creating some categories for my blogs, but didn't come up with very many. I tend to blog about whatever happened that day and the blog can be about several different subjects so I have a hard time picking one category. I came up with three categories, but I doubt if I'll do many more cost of meal entries, since I've pretty much done all the main meals that I fix. I don't plan to go back and categorize the ones I've already written either, too much work Smile

I finished reading my book Grail by Stephen R. Lawhead. Sci/Fi Very good. Last in the King Arthur series.

normal work day

January 27th, 2006 at 04:42 am

walked with mom for 35 min

Jeffrey, thanks for the changes to the blogs. I like being able to scroll down while reading the blogs to see if I missed a previous entry. I'd still like to scroll down and see my previous entries while I'm creating a new blog so I can cut and paste goals and totals.

I'd also like another feature if you can. The old way had an icon that marked when I had read a blog. I like that because I pop in and out throughout the day and like to know where I left off.

Got another Pinecone survey today.

Got off work at the normal time today, that was great. I think there's some kind of universal law that says if you are on a tight deadline and have a ton of work today, some component on your computer must self-destruct. I spent 3 hours today uninstalling a corrupted software package that I have to have to do my work and then reinstalling and reconfiguring it. I read technical documents while this was going on, so a pretty boring day.

My stress level this week is off the charts. I need to make an appointment with the doctor for a routine check, but I told my mom I needed to wait at least two weeks, my blood pressure is probably sky high. Smile

I'm feeling some relief this evening though. I completed all my assignments a day early. Now if nothing else breaks tomorrow I should be good. (crossed-fingers)

Got a little bit of gas at $2.19/gal. My tank was really low, but I have a 10 cent discount off at a gas station in town and I know I will be going in on Sunday, so I just got enough to last me a couple of days. Spent $10.01

Went to McDonalds for dinner. A kind of a mini celebration for getting through this week. I know it's probably not the best method, but sometimes it's totally worth it. Spent $7.34

I finished reading the library book On the Run by Iris Johansen. Romance. Very good. Love this author.

another long day

January 26th, 2006 at 04:23 am

walked with mom for 35 min

It's 9:30 and I'm still working. Hopefully this is the last really long day for a while.

Went to the post office. sold another half.com book for $1.

I guess I will have to get used to this new format. i don't like it as well for a couple of reasons. 1. I used to be able to quickly tell if certain bloggers had posted several times a day. Now I have to go to their archives to see if I've read all their posts for the day. 2. I used to be able to quickly scroll down and find my monthly spending total. Now I have to find it first before starting the blog. 3. I seems like I have to navigate more to read a whole blog. Read the blurb, click more, read the rest, go back to blog page, scan down from top to where I was when I decided to read more.

Ah well, such is progress

long, long, long day

January 25th, 2006 at 04:20 am

walked with mom for 35 min

Finished reading the library book Dead Guilty by Beverly Connor. Mystery. Very good

I'm still working, it's 9:50 and I have about a 1/2 hour to go. I started at 8 and took off for an hour at lunch and an hour at dinner. I'm having to do someone else's work, because they can't figure out how to do it Frown

Frustrating.

Pasta E Fagioli soup 2

January 24th, 2006 at 03:46 am

Mailed my half.com book, spent $1.59 then saw that I sold another one this evening for $2 so will have to make another trip to the Post office tomorrow.

Total spent this month = $286.32

Sent off the January Walgreens rebate for $14.49 and got the December Walgreens rebate for $10 in the mail. I also got a free sample of BIZ detergent.

I made the Olive Garden Pasta E Fagioli soup from the Top Secret Recipes Lite book by Todd Wilbut that I got from the library. I only sampled it, since I made it for lunches this week, but I thought it was fantastic. Really liked it. It's replacing my earlier version of this recipe.

It makes 8 1 1/2 cup servings at a cost of .77 cents per serving.

1 lb super-lean ground beef (7% fat) - .99 cents /lb
1 small onion, diced (1 cup) - .47 cents
1 large carrot, julienned (1 cup) - .20 cents
3 stalks celery, chopped (1 cup) - .60 cents
2 cloves garlic, minced - .10 cents
2 14.5-oz cans diced tomatoes - 1.00
1 15-oz can red kidney beans (with liquid) - .50 cents
1 15-oz can great northern beans (with liquid) - .50 cents
1 15-oz can Tomato sauce - .40 cents
1 12-oz can V-8 juice - .67 cents
1 tablespoon white vinegar - .02 cents
1 teaspoons salt - .01 cents
1 teaspoon dried oregano - .05 cents
1 teaspoon dried basil - .05 cents
teaspoon pepper - .02 cents
teaspoon dried thyme - .05 cents
lb ditali pasta - .50 cents

1. Brown the ground beef in a very large saucepan or soup pot over medium heat. Drain off the fat.
2. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic and simmer for 10 minutes
3. Add the remaining ingredients, except the pasta and simmer for 1 hour
4. About 50 minutes into the simmer time, cook pasta in 1 to 2 quarts of boiling water over high heat. Cook for 10 minutes or just until pasta is al dente, or slightly tough. Drain.
5. Add the pasta to the large pot of soup. Simmer for 5 minutes and serve.

Still haven't had time to put my new computer together, maybe tomorrow night. This is the final week of our project at work, so having to push hard right now. Tired at the end of the day and don't want to mess with another computer. Smile

New Computer

January 23rd, 2006 at 03:25 am

walked with mom for 55 min. Yes Imasaver I am single, for which I am very grateful, since I only have to convince myself for anything I want to do Smile

Went to Safeway and got a paper and celery. Spent $2.77

The paper had the Best Buy ads and they had a computer that meets the criteria I've been looking for at the price I've been waiting for. I saved up for the new computer last year and I've just been waiting for the right deal to come along.

I bought $500 in discounted Best Buy gift cards for $450 in anticipation. I should have bought $1000. I forgot I would have to pay upfront and then get the rebates. I bought the gift cards with a rebate CC so got another $5 off the cards.

The computer, with monitor and printer, 3 year warranty, an optical mouse, TaxCut Deluxe (Federal and state), Money 2006 and $100 worth of virus, firewall softeware cost me $1075.02. However, I have 10 rebates to send in and will get $530 back in rebates. Plus I signed up for their reward zone program at $10 and will get a $30 gift card. Used my CC to pay for the amount over $500 so will get anohter $5 back from that. Total spent after all rebates will be $460, which I think is an excellent deal. I got 512 MB memory, 160GB hard drive, read/write DVD and CD player plus a 17" flat screen monitor and the printer is a copier and scanner too.

Because I purchased the TaxCut Deluxe software for $25 I got a free copy of Money 2006 and a free Optical mouse + 3 software packages worth $100 for virus protection, firewall, etc.

I told the guy ringing me up that I needed to get the Geek Squad to help me fill out all the rebate forms. So ridiculous the hoops you have to jump through to save money. I have to fill out 10 forms, but I guess it's worth it for $530 Smile

I haven't had time to put the thing together yet, maybe tomorrow night. I wasn't able to work on my Taxes today either. I'll wait now till I get the computer setup and the new software installed.

After buying the computer I stopped at Walgreens to get their FAR Oral B cross action toothbrush. I had a $1.00 off coupon, so it's not only free, but I made a few cents. Gave the toothbrush to my dad since I have an electric one. Spent $4.07

Next stop was Albertsons. They had a deal where if you buy 10 of a group of products that were on sale for $1 each you would get $3 off. Hunts Ketchup and David's sunflower seeds were in the group. I had a .25 cents off coupon for the ketchup so after the discount I only paid 45 cents. And I got the sunflower seeds for 30% off my normal price. Sunflower seeds are my number one snack. I have 1/4 cup in the shell almost everyday. They also had seedless green grapes on sale for $1.49/lb which is a little high, but for this time of year is a great price. Anyways, spent $9.51 and saved $9.26; almost the same amount I spent. Smile

Total spent this month = $284.73

I spent most of the evening cooking for the week. Made the KFC coleslaw from the Top Secret Recipes Lite book I got from the library, of course I had to taste it and I thought it was pretty good. I had planned to make the Pasta E Fagioli too, but the hamburger wasn't completely thawed out so decided to wait till tomorrow.

Made oatmeal for breakfasts. Made potato salad. Made pinto beans, which I had for supper with some Lil Smokies sausages and grape juice. Froze some of the beans for future use, I will use some in the Pasta E Fagioli soup tomorrow.

meal planning

January 22nd, 2006 at 03:28 am

walked with mom for 55 min

I've been showing my dad the rebate deals for Walgreens in the ads and telling him what a good deal they are. So he went to Walgreens and got the Pepsi, Frito Lay one and made mom fill out the rebate form and send it in. He's hooked Smile Mom's not very excited about it, she doesn't think it's worth the effort. He's more along the lines of it's free money that you're throwing away, because they buy the stuff anyways. Ah well, one at a time. I did get my mom using some printable coupons online. Smile

Got another $5 survey check from Pinecone in the mail today.

Got groceries, but forgot the celery so will have to get that when I pick up a newspaper tomorrow. Spent $32.74. I'll be glad when the frozen macaroni and cheese goes off sale. It's normally .90 cents but it's on 'sale' now for 10/10 so it's $1. I guess people fall for it and stock up at that price. Fortunately I have my price book to tell me it's not a real sale Smile

Total spent this month = $268.38

Sold another book at half.com for $6, this has been a good week for half.com sales.

I tried to come up with a way to eat better meals using the glycemic index. My biggest problem is having to think about it all the time. What to have today, is it thawed, do I have all the ingredients, etc. So I decided to come up with a list of 15 dinners that I like and that are easy to make and that I usually have the ingredients for. I plan to go through the list and then start over. If I go out to eat, I'll just have the next dinner on the list the next night. I also planned 5 lunches. Hopefully by making this decision once, it will be easier to stick to.

Breakfast is always the same - oatmeal, with slivered almonds, cinnamon, sugar-free maple syrup, milk and a piece of fruit. (I've read that eating a 1/4 tsp of cinnamon each day is helpful with diabetes, who knows? But since I like cinnamon, I decided to try it)

Lunch can be one of the following 5

1. soup and piece of fruit
2. Peanut butter and celery and a piece of fruit
3. Macaroni and Cheese and a piece of fruit
4. Tuna salad, multigrain cracker and a piece of fruit
5. thin crust veggie pizza

Dinners - includes fruit juice with each meal

1. Tomato soup, grilled salmon, pasta
2. Chicken breast, coleslaw, potato salad (use boiled potatoes and don't mash them, makes this ok for the glycemic diet)
3. pinto beans and 4 lil smokies sausages
4. egg scramble with onions and tomatoes and 4 lil smokies sausages and fruit
5. chili pasta
6. fish fillet, pinto beans, coleslaw
7. taco salad (no bread bowl, just taco meat with kernal corn mixed in and lettuce and tomato and mixed together with low-fat ranch dressing)
8. lasagna, green beans
9. mandarin chicken salad
10. meat loaf, corn on cob, coleslaw
11. tomato soup, lemon grilled shrimp, pasta
12. chili
13. chicken breast, mac n cheese, pinto beans
14. pork chop, corn on cob, green beans
15. tacos

It's probably still light on the vegetables, but I don't like vegetables, so one thing at a time, eat good meals that I like and lose some weight first and then mayyyyybe introduce more vegetables later.

Finished reading my book Pendragon by Stephen R. Lawhead. Sci/Fi Very good - book 4 in the King Arthur series.

more tax forms

January 21st, 2006 at 03:15 am

Got several more tax forms in the mail today including my W-2. I should be able to get most of my taxes done this weekend.

I got a check for $5.76 for the amount I overpaid on my Property taxes.

Mailed my 2 half.com books, they were big, heavy coffee table books, cost $5.58 to mail

Went to Rosies for dinner and spent $11

Total spent this month = $235.64

Went back to the library website and figured out how to get the Ebook. I started reading it on my PC. The only format for this book was in ebook format, otherwise I would have checked the book out. I like to read sitting in my comfy armchair with my feet propped up and a blanket over my lap. It's not nearly as comfortable reading in front of the PC. Plus I'm on the computer all day and have lots of problems with tired eyes and tight shoulders. So while I will take advantage of this format when it's the only one available, I still prefer the physical version.

I don't understand how the author can make any money this way. The library only has to purchase one copy and then distribute it to whoever wants it. I even have printing privileges on the book. I could print it out and keep it if I wanted to own this book.

more book sales

January 20th, 2006 at 04:23 am

walked with mom for 35 min today. I took an early lunch so we could get our walk in. It was starting to snow when we started walking at 10:50. We have about 2 inches of snow so far, but it's really icy. A lot of roads are closed. It took a lot of people hours to get home tonight. So glad I wasn't one of them and won't have to try to drive into work in the morning.

Sold two more books at half.com today. One for $15 and one for $13. Just when I start thinking I haven't made any sales for awhile, I get two. Smile

Finished listening to the library book on tape Die in Plain Sight by Elizabeth Lowell. Romance/Mystery. Very good.

I was browsing the library website for books to check out and I found out they have a new book I've been looking for, but it's an EBOOK. I can't figure out how to get access to it. I don't see information about it on their main page, and there is nothing to click on for the book itself. Next time I go to the library I'll have to ask one of the librarians how this works. Surely you can't download a library book to your PC. Anyone else have experience with this?

stock options and taxes

January 19th, 2006 at 04:07 am

walked with mom for 35 min today. The wind was blowing really hard. I was looking out the window in my office and I see this bird flapping it's wings as hard as it can and staying in one place in the air and then eventually getting pushed backwards. It was very comical. Almost like a cartoon.

Wow! there were so many entries today I had to go to the 2nd page to find my journal. It's great that so many people are journaling.

I found out what the descrepancy was with my paystub. The problem was with the stock options I did this year.
I did some research on this and found a good question and answer page that had the following:

Why am I taxed twice when I exercise stock options and sell the stock at the same time?
You have two separate transactions that must be reported separately even if they occur at the same time. But you aren't taxed twice on the same income. The profit from exercising your stock option is treated as compensation income and appears on Form W-2. In addition, you have to report a sale of the stock, which shows up on Form 1099-B. This form shows the total proceeds of the sale, not the amount of taxable gain. Before you figure your gain, you get to add the option profit from your W-2 to the amount you paid for the stock. That means you won't pay additional tax unless you sold the shares at a price that was higher than the value used to determine the option profit.

Bottom line is I was counting the gain twice when figuring my taxes, so it looks like I should be getting money back instead of owing. I'm still waiting for forms and will work on it some more this weekend to get a better final amount.

Finished listening to the library book on tape The Color of Death by Elizabeth Lowell. Romance/Mystery. Very good.

Finished reading the library book Dark Watch by Clive Cussler. Adventure. Also very good. I like his Dirk Pitt series better, but I like this new series with Juan Cabrillo also

rebates

January 18th, 2006 at 03:49 am

went into work today and didn't get home till 6:00 so another day where I couldn't walk.

Stopped at the bank and deposited $48.48 from rebate checks.

Got 3 more rebate checks in today's mail. $5.00 from Hasbro for the games I bought for xmas. 3.99 for Tums and $10 from DelMonte. Like these kind of mail days. Smile

Have some more rebates I need to look into, to see if they are worth it to me. I don't go out of my way for rebates, but do try to take advantage when they are easy and are for things I buy anyways or can give to someone else who'll use them.

more taxes

January 17th, 2006 at 03:52 am

I had the day off for Martin Luther King day. It snowed and was very cold so I didn't get to walk.

Worked on my taxes some more. Based on my preliminary numbers looks like I will get $1K back. That's way more than I expected so I need to redo my numbers when I'm not so tired. It looks like my last paycheck for the year is wrong by $5000 too much for the number to pay federal taxes on. Gross salary - 401K, medical, lt disability, and all those other items that you aren't supposed to get taxed on. I need to figure out what's going on with that. I'll try human resources tomorrow or Wednesday. I'm going into work tomorrow and don't like to do that kind of thing in the office where everyone can hear what you're talking about, so I'll probably wait till Wednesday. If it is wrong, I'd like to get it figured out before I get a W-2 with bad data also and then have to wait to get that straightened out.

Sure hope I have my numbers right, that would be great.

Finished reading the library book S is for Silence by Sue Grafton. Mystery. Very good. I've always liked the Kinsey Millhone books.

Narnia

January 16th, 2006 at 04:54 am

walked with mom for 35 min

Went to get groceries this morning at King Soopers. Still need to clean out my freezer so only bought produce and things on sale, eggs and a newspaper. Spent $16.04. Saved 31% according to reciept

Met a friend of mine and we went to see Narnia. Very good movie. Spent $5.50
Afterward we went to Chili's for a late lunch. Spent $11 and brought half my lunch home.

The we went to Target and wandered around. I got 2 more jigsaw puzzles and two dolls. Spent $38.30 on my $100 free CC. This takes me to $104.33 on the CC so I will owe $4.33 on the bill

Total spent this month = $219.06

It was good meeting my friend and catching up. It's often hard for married friends with children to make time to spend with single friends. We try to get together at least once a month.

copy cat recipes

January 15th, 2006 at 05:14 am

walked with mom for 55 min. My legs were a little sore from yesterday. Not sure what it is about shopping, but my legs and feet get much more tired shopping than straight walking.

Worked on my taxes today, got all the charity stuff pulled together and started on interest forms. Will try and finish those on Monday. Pulled the forms from the IRS site and printed a couple to use for the first rough draft.

Closed my ING account. There are too many other banks that pay better and it's one less account to deal with. Had to call them to close the account, there's no method for doing this online. Had to wait for 30 min to get to a person. I tried the automated system first, but there wasn't an option to close the account so I selected the option to talk to a person and got disconnected. That seems to happen with a lot of companies anymore. Really ticks me off since I tested one of the software products that companies use to route you through a phone menu and I know how easy it is to configure it correctly.

Went to the post office and mailed my half.com book, new postage prices so went from 1.44 to 1.59

Total spent this month = $186.52

Went to the library and picked up my holds. I found a book while I was browsing in my favorite section called Top Secret Recipes LITE! by Todd Wilbur. The book contains recipes from restaurants and fast food places that copies the recipes, only with less calories and fat. The book has at least two recipes that I want to try out; Olive Garden's Pasta E Fagioli and Taco Bell's beef soft taco. They have a recipe for twinkies, but since I don't like the real deal I probably won't try that one. Might try the KFC coleslaw.

Finished reading my book Arthur by Stephen R. Lawhead. Sci Fi. 3rd in the Arthur series. Very good.

lot's to write about today

January 14th, 2006 at 04:37 am

I always take a day off around my birthday and mom and I drive up to Denver to go shopping.

We stopped off at the Wal-Mart in Castle Rock first. Got there nice and early so we could wander through without the crowds. I like shopping in Wal-Mart for the prices, but I don't usually go there because of the crowds.
Spent $39.95 paid for by my $10 AMEX card and my $100 Sony Card. Got a black hoodie for walking and got 3 trial size Dove Deoderants for free after coupons. Also got a new pair of sunglasses since my other pair broke.

Got gas for 2.24/gal - spent $17.36

We went to Red Robin for lunch. I joined the Red Robin club awhile back so I had an email for a free Gourmet Burger for my b-day. We were walking into the restaurant and my mom goes, "I'm buying, because you drove" I said fine and she looks at me funny, because she knows I rarely let her buy and I told her I had the email for the free burger. LOL. After the meal, which would have cost $8 before tip, they brought me a huge ice cream Sundae and sang happy birthday to me. Embarrassing. We split the sundae. I figure between the burger and sundae it's at least $11. That's a pretty good deal for your b-day. I let mom pay the tip for my meal.

Next stop was Hallmark for mom and Border's for me. They are next to each other in Denver. I spent $11.72 for 2 books, had a 25% off coupon on 1 book and the other one was already marked down 20%. Again paid for by my $100 Sony card.

Then we went to Michaels where I didn't buy anything. And then to the Office Max which is right next to it. I got a desk organizer to put on my kitchen counter to hold sissors, coupons, mail, pencil, pen, paper etc. It was on sale for half price, spent $7.30 using a card that gives me 3% back on office purchases.

After that was the Container Store. One of my favorite stores. I spent $14.36, again paid for by my $100 Sony Card. Then we went to Linen's and Things were I didn't get anything.

Next stop was Cold Stone I let mom pay for my small ice cream, since she insisted. On the way home, we stopped back in Castle Rock at the Outlet malls. I got a pasta measurer for $1.06 in one of the Kitchen stores and picked up a sandwich at Subway to have for supper. $6.21

Total on Sony Card = $56.03 still have almost $44 free money to spend.

Total spent this month = $184.93

Picked up my mail when I got home. I got my $100 worth of Barnes and Noble gift cards from a different $100 CC I opened.

I got my property tax bill, I already paid it in Dec. I sent in the same amount they charged for last year, but it's less this year by about $4 so I should get a little bit back.

Now for the only bad news of the day. I got my new heating bill. I do budget billing and it went up from $40 a month to $56 a month, a 40% increase. I guess It's not that big a deal it's only $16 a month, but still, 40%.

When I got online this evening I saw I sold another book to half.com for $2.50

All in all a very good Friday the 13th for me.

so cold

January 13th, 2006 at 03:56 am

walked with mom for 35 min. We planned to walk for 55 but it was freezing. It was 32 but the wind was blowing. I was so cold my face was frozen. I decided 35 min was enough.

We went to dinner at Village Inn. I spent $7 on breakfast. I love breakfast in the evenings.

Total spent this month = $154.06

Have a headache tonight so going to bed early, hopefully I can sleep it away. I had one last night too, was awake till 4:00 am. Makes for a long day.

$100 Visa bonus

January 12th, 2006 at 03:59 am

walked with mom for 35 min

Thanks everyone for the birthday wishes.

I had a much calmer day at work today and was actually able to get stuff done. I hope tomorrow goes well too. I work on schedules and my next big due date is Jan 27. I'll really be sweating it to make it in time. Especially since I have this Friday off for vacation and Monday off for Martin Luther King day, and I don't like to work overtime if I can help it, since I'm on salary and don't get paid for OT. I have 3 meeting scheduled for the same time tomorrow. I hate meetings since it seems you get 3 new tasks for every meeting you attend, and if you don't attend the meeting you get 5 new tasks. Smile

I finally got the $100 bonus for opening a Visa card. I opened the card back in Sept so it took a long time to show up.

I also got the book Stop Working, Start Living today. That was really fast, I only ordered it Monday morning. It was in good shape too. Now I'll have it in my library to reread for inspiration. i don't keep a lot of financial books I have about 25 and reread around 10 each year.

45 years old

January 11th, 2006 at 05:11 am

walked with mom for 55 min

Today is my 45th birthday only 5 years left to meet my goal of retiring at 50. I made last years investment goal so it's still looking good on paper. I'm right on track.

I got a $10 AMEX card today for a survey I did awhile back, may have been a link from this site.

I interviewed 3 more people at work today for new jobs. But we still have the same problem with communication for all of them. We haven't found one American with the skills we're looking for in the past year, they are all Indian. If anyone is in the IT field and you have an opportunity to get training in the Mercury Interactive suite of test tools, you should go for it. The pay level is very good 70K+ I think it's pretty smart of the Indians to get the training in the area that is most marketable, I just have a hard time communicating with them and was hoping not to have that level of stress added to training new people. We'll definetely hire one of the ones we interviewed today and might hire another one. We had so much trouble understanding him over his cell phone, we couldn't tell if the problem was him or the phone, so we plan to do a follow up interview.

My mom fixed a Thanksgiving dinner for me tonight for my b-day. Turkey, mashed potatoes, corn, salad and rolls. It's always my favorite. It was so good, but I skipped the ice cream afterwards I was too full, plus it's not really something I should have anyways. Then we played cards for a couple of hours.

Roth IRA

January 10th, 2006 at 03:47 am

walked with mom for 35 min

Another stressful day at work, if I could just work on something without being interrupted 20 times with other people's problems, I could get things done. Instead I start on something, get interrupted and have to start over. The reason I have to start over is I get logged out of the website I'm working in because of security reasons, plus I lose track of what I'm doing and have to rething where I'm at. And the things I'm getting interrupted for are stupid things that the people should be able to deal with themselves, they are entry level things for our work that anyone with more than 3 months experience should know. All these people have 5+ years of experience. They're just lazy and don't want to do their own work. I've started telling them to go look it up or do it themselves, but it makes me frustrated. I got hit by 3 people with the same problem this morning and everyone of them should have know how to deal with it on their own. Frown I did finally finish the thing I was working on, but it took me 4 hours and it should have only taken 1-2.

I finally got around to putting $4000 in my 2006 Roth IRA today. I should have done it last week. I missed a good week of stock run-ups. But work has been such a zoo, I just didn't get around to it till this morning. I wrote myself a note and did it first thing.

I also ordered the book Stop Working, Start Living. If anyone owns this book, you have a gold mine. It was listed for 80+ on Barnes and Noble and 50+ on Amazon. I did find someone selling a copy on Barnes and Noble for $18.50 so I ordered it. I figure if I decide to sell in a couple of years I could at least make my money back. I'm going to have to look for this book in used bookstores. Spent $22.39 with shipping. I didn't see Jorge's link before I ordered it, but thanks for the information.

The author of the book lists several of the finance books she grew up reading in her parents house, its funny because I had read most of them also. I think she's close to my age. Most of the books were written in the late 70's, early 80's. My parents had several of the books and I still own How to Live Rich When You Are Not by Rebecca Greer. This basic philosophy of this book is to not waste your money on things you don't care about, but spend it on the things you love, that way you don't feel deprived. For example, instead of eating fast food at Taco Bell everyday, you brown bag and save for a trip to Mexico instead. If that's more important. The point is figuring out what's important to you and then deciding how to get that by giving up things that aren't as important and are more habit that anything else.

Total spent this month = $147.06

I bought a yam last week to try. I know I never liked the sweet potato and marshmallow casseroles we always had at Thanksgiving so I thought I would try a baked version and see if I liked it. The yam/sweet potato is low on the glycemic index and I figured if I did like it, it would be another vegatable. But it was yucky. I just don't like the texture or the taste. Oh well, you don't know till you try. I had it with my leftover steak from yesterday.

Finished reading the library book Every Dead Thing by John Connolly. Mystery. Good. Not great, probably won't read anything else by this author.

b-day celebration

January 9th, 2006 at 03:26 am

walked with mom for 55 min

My 45th birthday is in 2 days so my parents took our whole family to Outback for lunch to celebrate. My sister wasn't there because she's in Las Vegas on a business trip. My parents gave me $100 and my nieces gave me some rubbermaid stainfree food storage containers, a bottle of Lady Stetson perfume. a vanilla scented candle and $10 in Wendy's gift certificates. I brought half my steak home to have tomorrow night.

I now have 5 bottles of Lady Stetson perfume. I told my sister last year that I wasn't using it as fast as they were giving it to me but I got 2 more bottles this year one for xmas and one for my b-day. Maybe I can return one to Longs or Walgreens. I don't know how long perfume is good for. I like the perfume but I only use it once or twice a week when I go to work or go in town so it doesn't get used very quickly.

I ran some errands before meeting everyone for lunch.

King Soopers - $3.14 - 1 dollar for newspaper
Walgreens - $14.87 - will get a $10 rebate, also got 2 14.5 oz cans of salmon for $1 each, excellent price.
Albertsons - $3.22 - bought another newspaper because the coupons were very good today. Also bought 3 bags of Brach's spearmint hard candy that was 75% off after xmas.
Barnes and Noble - $4.63 - had a coupon for 20% off one book, plus 10% off with my membership card and paid for with xmas gift card.
Safeway - $9.19 - 12 giant rolls of Quilted Northern TP for $5 and had two 75 cent off coupons so got 24 rolls total, very good price

Total spent this month = $124.67

Had leftover pasta with tomatoes and grilled some shrimp from my freezer for dinner. Yum!

I finished reading the library book Stop Working, Start Living by Dianne Nahirney. Personal Finance. Excellent book. I highly recommend this book. Thanks robex for recommending it. This is one I would like to own so I'm going to look around tomorrow to buy a copy. This book re-inspired me to strive for early retirement She has a lot of the same philosophies towards money and work that I have.

dieting vs savings

January 8th, 2006 at 03:13 am

spent most of the day cleaning and laundry. Fixed a big pot of beans and sausages also.

I decided I needed to clean out my freezer so I planed meals for the week using freezer items.

Got a $16 gift certificate for SunCoast or Sam Goody's from Media Play, since they went out of business this month. I don't buy things at Sam Goods or SunCoast so maybe I'll take one of my nieces and see if they want something for the next b-day.

Went to the library and picked up my holds.

I wish eating right was as easy as saving money. When you decide to save money you make the decision once. Then you take one action to automatically invest the money. You don't have to think about it again unless you want to move the money or increase the amount you are saving. When you decide to eat right you have to make the decision 3 or more times a day and you have to take action 3 or more times a day plus the day you go grocery shopping. It's a pain. It would be so much easier if you could go on auto-pilot like you do for saving money.

work week is finally over

January 7th, 2006 at 03:10 am

so glad to see this work week end. Problem after problem mostly having to do with communicating with people who don't speak English well. These are smart people, but it gets so frustrating when you have to say the same thing 3 times. Ah well, getting close to the end of my management task, supposedly the end of this month someone else will take over and I can go back to being a worker bee. That's what I like. Only have to take responsibility for me.

The rumor is that we will be losing a lot of the Indian contractors we recently hired in the US and we will be outsourcing those jobs, probably to India. They say it's at least 50% cheaper. Just when you get someone trained you get to start over.

I got a check for $39.39 in the mail for a credit card rebate today. I'll add that to my Extra Fund.

Went to dinner with parents tonight at Village Inn. Spent $6.

Total spent this month = $94.25

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

Finished reading my book Merlin by Stephen R. Lawhead. Sci Fi. Very good, 2nd in series about Arthur. I finally calmed down enough from job issues to read again tonight.

Thursday

January 6th, 2006 at 03:46 am

walked with mom for 35 min

Not much to post today. Still distracted so didn't read. Watched Kristi Yamaguchi ice skating show. It was really good. Lots of the older skaters that I don't see much any more.

Be glad when this week is over.

distracted

January 5th, 2006 at 04:05 am

walked with mom for 35 min

Mailed my 2 half.com books and spent $2.94

Total spent this month = $88.25

I tried to finish reading my book tonight but I was too distracted with work issues so I ended up switching between Project Runway and last seasons American Idol for about 3 hours. What a waste of time since I'd seen 2 of the 3 Project Runway shows and all of American Idol last year. I usually only watch about an hour of TV each night, but since I couldn't concentrate I guess it was ok.

Lot's of things going on at work, too much to do which is why I can't turn my brain off. I hope I can sleep tonight.

I spent about an hour today shredding old bills. I have four expandable folders, two are check size and two are file size. Each folder is divided into months. I put my reciepts in the check size one and my bills and credit card statements in the file size one. Then I fill them up during the year. At the end of the year I put the folders on a shelf and fill up the next two. So at the end of year two I take the folders that have year one's documents and shred them. I figure if I haven't needed them for a year, I won't need them and it's a simple way to organize. I file bank statements and tax stuff and anything important in my file cabinet.

returning gifts

January 4th, 2006 at 04:37 am

went into work today and ran errands on the way home.

Walgreens - got 2 18 oz jars of Jif extra crunchy peanut butter for $1 each. very good deal. Also got a replacement heating pad. One of the things I asked for at Christmas was a heating pad. I got one, but I could barely feel it even on high so my mom returned it and gave me the money. I found a cheaper one that works better at Walgreens. I use heating pads a lot because my lower back hurts most of the time. Probably from sitting in front of the computer so much Smile Bought a couple other things and spent $23.10

Went to Souper Salad and got a salad for dinner and two bowls of soup for lunch for the next couple of days. $6.22

Last stop was Kmart. I hate to complain when people give you gifts because it is the thought that counts, but in the case of my sister, her thought is just give anything so you can say you gave something, nevermind if it's something they would want or use. If they don't like it, give them the receipt so they can be the ones to go through the hassle of exchanging it. Anyways before Christmas she was asking me if I liked Carrie Underwood (she's the last American Idol). I said she was ok, but she wasn't a favorite of mine. So what did I get for Christmas? A Carrie Underwood tape. I took it back to Kmart today and bought some moisturizer and still have 3+ on the gift card. I would just as soon she didn't get me anything though, really, it wouldn't bother me in the least. But every year it's the same kind of gifts, where you know she didn't think about it but got the first thing she saw. Bah humbug! Smile

Total spent this month = $85.41

Sold two more books at half.com today.

Finished reading the library book The Low GI Diet Revolution by Jennie Brand-Miller. Diet. Good, probably the best one about the GI Diet I've read so far.

Extra Fund

January 3rd, 2006 at 03:09 am

walked with mom for 55 min

Last year I decided to start putting the extra money that came into my life in a saving account that I call my Extra Fund. The money is meant to be used for fun stuff (currently I am saving it for my Canadian vacation later this year). I wanted to track what was coming back to me for these kinds of activities.

I made $806.23 to put in the fund

I tracked the following categories

Rebates (doesn't include Walgreens rebates, since I get them in gift card form and reuse it each month) $89.38
Interest on checking/savings $18.93 - interest on other accounts is reinvested
Credit Card Rebates $256.47
Loose Change $102
Sell Stuff $98.57
half.com $93.88
Pinecone surveys $20
other (bank bonuses, etc) $127

It's pretty neat to see how much it adds up to. I should track my Walgreens rebates and freebies this year. The Walgreens rebates would be easy to track, but it's hard to put a value on some of the freebies. Maybe I'll just track the items each month.

Finished reading the library book First Impressions by Jude Deveraux. Romance. Very good. I really like her books because her heroines are like normal people. This one was 45 and she had nasty thoughts about other people and normal flaws. Her books are also funny. Good read.

January Goals

January 2nd, 2006 at 04:01 am

Goals for January are:

1. Pre-pay mortgage by 1500.00
2. Walk 20 times for at least 35 min
3. Spend $450 or less for household items
4. Try to follow Glycemic Index eating plan
5. Work on taxes, try o have ready to send by Jan 31

Went to King Soopers for groceries, spent $56.09, but 16.32 of that was for 1 book, 2 magazines and a newspaper. I planned to buy the newspaper and book, but the magazines were impulse, one a financial mag and one a recipe mag.

Total spent this month = $56.09

Finished reading my book Taliesin by Stephen R. Lawhead. Sci Fi. Very Good. I always love the Arthur story. I've probably read 20 versions of it. This is a very good one.