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Archive for March, 2006

another free movie weekend

April 1st, 2006 at 03:27 am

walked with mom for 55 min

DirectTV has a free Showtime movie weekend. So far there hasn't been anything I want to see. It seems like they've had a lot of free movie weekends lately.

My goals for March were:

1. Pre-pay mortgage by $2000.00. I increased this because I am expecting my computer rebates and tax returns this month so should be able to come up with another $500.

Done

2. Walk 20 times for at least 35 min

Done

3. Spend $400 or less for household items. Since I've stayed under $450 for the last 2 months, I'm lowering this goal.

Almost. Spent $413.96

Groceries - 123.06
Fast Food - 44.20
Restaurants - 54.59
Nieces - 32.95
Books - 13.17
Gas - 43.7
HBAs - 46.53
Entertainment - 17.97
Other - 32.79

4. Lose 5 lbs. - This is a financial goal as well as a health goal, since it will save me money.

Only lost 3 lbs, but it's progress.

My net worth increased by 3%

Got the Travel Cancellation insurance policy today. Spent $90 for this.

Finished reading my book Partnership by Anne McCaffrey and Margaret Ball. Sci/Fi. Ok

Wonder Bra saves life

March 31st, 2006 at 04:14 am

walked with mom for 55 min

Was able to get access to the site today, so hopefully whatever the problem was is gone. I enjoy checking in and reading everyone's blogs every day. Not to mention checking out the freebie section.

Got my last half.com book sale back in the mail today. I guess the label came off. I sent the buyer an email and will resend it tomorrow.

Went to Village Inn for dinner with parents. Spent $9

Finished listening to the library book on tape Slow Burn by Julie Garwood. Romance/Mystery. Very good and very funny. How can you not enjoy a book that starts out,

"Her Wonder Bra saved her life." Smile

ISP blocking site?

March 30th, 2006 at 03:53 am

I still can't get to the site today unless I try through my works VPN. If I'm outside of the VPN I get page cannot be displayed. I don't know if my ISP is blocking the site or what the problem is. If I can't figure it out, I'll probably have to stop visiting very often. I shouldn't be going through the companies VPN even though it's on my own time.

Walked with mom 55 min today.

Yesterday went into town and spent $13.95 at Staples. I had an old ink cartridge so got $3 off. I bought a new plastic floor protector for under my desk chair. Mine was breaking up into little pieces. It's 4 years old.

I went to Bed, Bath n Beyond and got a cool expandable strainer. I make pasta a lot so this strainer is very neat because it folds flat and doesn't take a lot of room in your cupboards. It was $14.99 and I had a $5 off $15 purchase so I bought a cheap piece of candy to make it over $15. Spent $11.92

I got my passport today. I think it's about 4 weeks since I sent it off. I also got a free Purpose moisturizer sample from WalMart and a $20 rebate for my computer.

computer problems

March 28th, 2006 at 04:44 am

I had computer problems yesterday and couldn't get to the site to read the latest blogs. Finally got it worked out today.

Walked 35 min with mom yesterday and today.

Got my last months Walgreens rebate for $10.98 in the mail, still expecting another $10 GC from them.

My bother's bday is the 27th and my BILs is the 25th so we always celebrate them together. My bother turned 40 this year and my BIL turned 45 so of course my mom had to decorate with buzzards and black balloons etc.

We had dinner at my parents, steak, mashed potatoes, green beans with bacon, deviled eggs, salad, and rolls. So good. Chocolate cake and ice cream for dessert. I didn't have any cake, I don't particulary like chocolate in any other form except candy. I don't like chocolate milk, ice cream, pudding, pie or cake.

Spent quite a bit of time talking to both nieces, which I always enjoy.

Finished reading The Lion's Daughter by Loretta Chase. Romance. Ok.

airline tickets booked

March 26th, 2006 at 05:03 am

walked with mom for 55 min

We booked our airline tickets today. I joined the mypoints insider club for $1 and going through there site to United got 250 points plus the round trip ticket was $427.89 this was at least $50 cheaper than I found it anywhere else. We also got travel insurance for the tickets for $17.12 each.

I need to go back to Mypoints and get the $10 signup rebate.

I also signed up for Your Music through My Points and got another 250 points. For this you pay $5.99 a month with no S&H and get whichever CD is in your queue sent to you each month. You can cancel anytime. After looking through their selection of music I quickly came up with about 8 CDs I would like. They have a wide variety, but I especially like older music and mostly I buy greatest hits CDs. I purchased ZZ tops greatest CDs which is a two CD set for $11.98 and my first CD that will be sent to me as my monthly pick is Wanda Jackson's greatest hits. I've been looking for a CD for her for a long time in the stores. She was called the female Elvis and does some great rock-a-billy stuff. I think 5.99 is a bargain for a CD. I plan to get some gifts for my nieces from here too.

Went to the King Soopers for groceries and spent $54.08, got to use my Safeway $5 off coupon from the Entertainment book I got from Mypoints. I have enough points for a $25 gift certificate now, just need to go do the paperwork to get it sent to me.

Got a free box of Act II microwave popcorn at the grocery store.

Watched Alien vs Predator which I had taped from last weeks free HBO weekend. I thought it was good. I liked that they had a strong black woman hero for this one.

Went to the library and picked up about 8 more books on tape, plus 2 Ray Charles CDs.

Listed 11 more books on Half.com.

Finished listening to the library book on tape Face the Fire by Nora Roberts. Romance. Very good.

salary refunds

March 25th, 2006 at 04:15 am

walked with mom for 35 min

Got a IAMS dog treat sample today. I don't have any pets so it goes to my sister for her dog.

I had a very frustrating day at work. I hate it when people hide the state of their work. Then when I take it over, it's a disaster. I have to spend hours and hours fixing it to make it work properly. It's not fair for one thing, but I always feel so outraged that they lied. I also feel outraged that when management finds out about it, it's oh well do the best you can to fix it. BLEAGHHH!!

It's wasteful and inefficient. When you find out people haven't been doing there jobs you ought to be able to ask for some of their salary back. That's what happens when you purchase something and don't get the value you expected.

Finished listening to the libary book on tape Stranger in a strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein. Sci/Fi. Very good. One of the great science fiction writers. I remember reading this book 10 years ago and it was written in 1961 yet is still fresh and interesting.

Canada trip booked

March 24th, 2006 at 05:10 am

walked with mom 35 min yesterday
walked 55 min today

Went to Taco Bell for supper and bought extra for lunch tomorrow. $10.42

The free movies are gone, but I have a couple taped that I might get to next weekend.

Got an email that our Canada trip is booked, but the show we wanted to see is sold out. Oh well, I'm sure we will find something else to do.

Finished reading the library book Airtight Case by Beverly Connor. Mystery. Very good. If you like Patricia Cornwell you will probably like Beverly Connor.

more free movies

March 22nd, 2006 at 04:47 am

Looks like HBO might be free for the whole week. However, there hasn't been any movies I want to see since Sunday, but I'll keep checking back.

The snow from yesterday melted today, but we're supposed to get some more tomorrow. Haven't been able to walk outside for two days. I miss it.

Finished reading my book The Good, The Bad and the Sexy by Emily Carmichael. Romance. Ok, but this was a new author and I won't be looking for anymore of her books. Pretty cliche.

tax refund

March 21st, 2006 at 04:59 am

snowy day today so didn't get to walk. Got my tax refund $424 and a CC rebate check for $55.32

Sent for my March Walgreens rebate $16.98 and resubmitted the $30 software rebate, hope it goes through this time.

errands/chores

March 20th, 2006 at 04:29 am

walked with mom for 55 min, it was snowing pretty hard by the time we finished. It was just cold when we started.

Ran errands today.

Got my oil changed and new windshield wipers for $53.59 - had a $6 coupon

Dollar store $3, pasta 2 1lbs for $1 and cinnamon spices

Wendy's mandarin chicken salad for dinner. $4.82

Newspapers $2.25

Outback for lunch $13.80

Walgreens $8.23 saved $12.27 in coupons.

Gas 2.46/gal $20.89

Did a load of laundry and made oatmeal for the week. Didn't watch any movies today, wasn't anything on that I wanted to see while I was at home to watch it. Taped Scooby Doo 2 but don't know when I'll get around to watching it.

Free stuff this week.

Free movie weekend HBO
Degree Ultra clear deodorant - sample
25 2-liter bottles of coke.

Finished reading the library book Dressed to Die by Beverly Connor. Mystery. Good.

free car wash

March 19th, 2006 at 04:58 am

walked with mom for 55 min

We faxed our booking form to the Canada people for our trip.

Went to King Soopers and spent $20.35 for groceries. Didn't need much this week. Went to Village Inn for dinner and spent $7. got a free carwash at the Restaurant. It was raining pretty good and my car is cleaner than it's been in a while. Seems like everytime I'm in town around a car wash it's been snowing for a month, so the car was pretty dirty.

Got a rebate returned saying I didn't send all the proofs and I know I did, so I need to reply to that and see if I can get the $30.

It's nice to have a free movie weekend, but it means I don't get much else done. Smile Watched Ray, which was really good. Watched Daffy Duck's Fantastic Island. Love looney toons. Watched part of Catwoman, which was ok, won't watch the whole thing. Plan to watch Resident Evil: Apocalypse later tonight.

Finished reading the library book Working Less, Live More by Bob Clyatt. Finance. Ok, nothing new.

Free HBO

March 18th, 2006 at 05:58 am

walked with mom for 35 min

I've got free HBO this weekend and they had some pretty good movies on tonight. Watched Chronicles of Riddick and Miss Congeniality 2.

Did finally get approval from my boss to take my vacation on my original date May 17. Filled out the booking form, and need to run it by my parents in the morning and then fax it.

Finished listening to the library book on tape White Death by Clive Cussler. Adventure. Good.

dinner with Grandma

March 17th, 2006 at 05:40 am

walked with mom for 55 min

My Grandma is staying at my parents for a couple of days so I had dinner there tonight. Enchiladas, yum!

We played cards all evening. Nice time.

fighting for vacation time

March 16th, 2006 at 04:58 am

walked with mom for 55 min

Won 5 more bottles of Coke today.

I so want to retire and not have to worry about deadlines or losing my job. I asked for my days off for my Canada trip. I'm going with my parents and we probably worked at this for two weeks to find a time that fit everyone's schedule, was during the cheap time to go, missed mother's day and memorial day weekend, etc. We came up with the perfect time. It happens to co-incide with one of my work deadlines. So my boss doesn't want me to go then.

I think that stinks. There is never a good time workwise. There is always something happening. This is a big deadline, but these kinds of deadlines have never been met in 3 years, they always move. So if I move my vacation there is no guarantee that the deadline would be on that date anyways. The thing I would be doing on that date is also being done by 3 other people. It's not necessary for all 4 of us to do the same thing on the same night.

I work almost all of my vacation time throughout the year unpaid. I get 3 weeks of vacation but an extra 2 - 3 hours a week adds up to 100 - 150 hours, which nullifies my vacation time. Anyways my boss hasn't said no he's just asked me how important it is to go on that date. My parents have agreed to move the date, but I just don't think it's right to have to do that. I plan to talk to him tomorrow to see if I can talk him into saying it's ok to go on the dates we want.

Finished reading my book Blame it on Chocolate by Jennifer Greene. Romance. Very cute. If you like Janet Evanovich you will probably like Jennifer Greene.

more Coke

March 15th, 2006 at 04:55 am

Very happy with myself. Drove into work today but didn't stop to pick up any dinner on the way home. Progress.

Went to Walgreen's and spent $16.97 will get a $10 gift card rebate.

Deposited rebate checks in the bank.

Got a free sample of Degree Ultra Clear in the mail.

Won 10 more bottles of Coke.

more coke wins

March 14th, 2006 at 04:44 am

walked with mom for 55 min

Won 10 more 2-liter bottles of Coke. I'm up to 25 now. I don't drink coke, but I can give them as gifts or maybe get some other product that I can drink or donate them.

Got my $10 Pepsi rebate in today's mail, plus another sample of Dove shampoo and conditioner. I don't think I've paid for shampoo in over 15 years.

Mailed the book I sold on Half.com and spent $1.59

Free stuff and miniatures

March 13th, 2006 at 04:53 am

It's been really nice around here weather wise for the last week. So of course today when I have to drive for 2 hours it snows. Smile

Got gas and 2 newspapers for $24.81. Gas has gone back up and was $2.29/gal

Took my niece up to Denver for the miniature class I signed us up for. It was really good. We learned a lot of neat tricks.

We went to Barnes and Noble first and I spent. $41.36 on 6 books. Used the gift cards I got from opening a new CC.

We went to Red Lobster for lunch. Our favorite place. Spent $18.48

It started to snow while we were in the class but wasn't too bad yet when we got out at 4:30. I bought one item at the class for $12.82 and I had already sent them a $70 check for the fees.

I stopped at a town halfway between Denver and my town for dinner. We went to Wendy's and I spent another $14.47. I got one of their deli sandwiches to have for lunch tomorrow too. When we got out of Wendy's and back on the freeway, the snow was a little heavier but still not bad, the roads were just wet not slick. But for some reason we crawled home. 10-20 miles an hour. There were no wrecks, people were just afraid to drive. It was ridiculous. It should have taken us a half hour to get to my town and it took more than an hour. Then by the time we did get there, it was dark and the snow was starting to stick.

Free stuff I got this week:

15 2-liter bottles of Coke. I won twice more today.
1 bag black jelly beans
Gillete vibrance razor
3 Smart Ones frozen dinners
Dove shampoo and conditioner sample

I finished reading Skeleton Crew by Beverly Connor. Mystery. Good

errands and chores

March 12th, 2006 at 04:57 am

walked with mom for 55 min

Spent the whole day doing errands and chores. First to the post office to mail my half.com book. $2.55

Next King Sooper's for groceries. Really good coupon day. Spent $33.97. Saved 45%. Got 3 Smart Ones frozen dinners for free. Got a bag of black jelly beans to give to my dad for his bday for free. Got a Gillete Vibrance razor that is free after rebate and I had a $3 coupon so they paid me to buy that, gave it to my mom. The salmon had been marked down 30%, so I got 4 portions and froze 3. Red Baron thin crust pizza was 40% off and I had 2 $1 coupons so got 2 large pizzas for $2.71. Hormel li'l smokies were on sale for $2.50 and I had 2 $1 coupons so spent $1.50 for those. Normal price is $3.69. So a good day.

Went to the library and got new holds and 4 new books on tape to listen to.

Got a free sample of Dove shampoo and moisturizer in the mail as well as a $50 rebate for my computer.

Made oatmeal for the week and chopped celery. Also made 3 miniature meatloaves. Froze one for later, ate one for dinner and will have one later in the week.

Several people are doing the $20 challenge and have asked for ideas. This one probably won't make you much, but it should work. I frequently get coupons for 20% off at Bed bath n beyond and linen's and things. Both stores have told me the coupons are good for a year regardless of the expiration date and also that they will take each others coupons. I saw several people on ebay are selling these coupons. They sell them in batches of 5 - 10. When I saw this I thought of other coupons that might sell. The Entertainment book has coupons for $25 - $75 off of airline tickets, perhaps those would sell also. Just a thought.

Finished reading a very long (almost 700 pages) book called The Ring of Five Dragons by Eric Van Lustbader. Sci/Fi first in a series. It was pretty good. The print was very tiny, so it took quite a while to read.

Free Meal

March 11th, 2006 at 04:38 am

walked with mom for 55 min. Very cold, it was snowing while we walked.

Went to dinner afterwards. Used my Entertainment book coupon BOGO. My dad's meal was horrible so they gave him his meal for free too. He ended up paying for mom's meal and mine was free.

We sat down and worked out several of the details of our Canada trip. My mom loves to shop. The biggest mall in the world is in Edmonton. We will be about 3 hours away from that. So we are extending our trip by one more day to go shopping. This mall is like disneyland I guess. It has 7 theme parks, wave-lake, dolphins, submarines, casinos and replica of the Christopher Columus boat and 800 stores. No way we will get through even a fraction of it, but it seems a shame to get so close and not even visit.

Paid my car insurance today. $359.98.

Sold another book at half.com for $8

I finally won at the coca-cola game. I won 5 2-liter bottles.

Finished listening to the library book Birthright by Nora Roberts. Romance. Excellent.

CC rewards

March 10th, 2006 at 05:09 am

walked with mom for 55 min

Got a CC rebate check for $65.02 and a $5 Pinecone survey check in the mail today.

I checked the nesteggzreward site for my CC reward with that card and it's totally changed. My rewards are gone as is the shopping site. I'll call tomorrow to find out what's going on. I had over $55 in rewards last time I looked.

I printed out the $50 gas cards for test driving a Ford Fusion form and gave it to my dad. He did it yesterday and they sent the form in. Hope he gets the gift cards. He was pretty tickled about it. I also told him about Arby's giving away free chicken tenders today, so him and my mom went there and got one a piece which they ate and then went home and had lunch. My mom was mortified, she thought he should have bought something. I told her she has a coupon for buy one get one free sandwich, they could have used that. I think it's funny myself. He's really getting into all the bargains I pass along to him. He especially likes the free samples that show up in the mail.

no wins yet

March 9th, 2006 at 04:57 am

walked with mom for 35 min. Started to snow so went back to walking at lunch today instead of waiting till after work for the longer walk. Some walk is better than no walk Smile

The new Wendy's deli sandwiches are very good, even the next day.

I've been trying the coca-cola game that was posted somewhere, not sure if I saw it in the freebies or in a blog. Still haven't won anything after 6 tries. I don't usually do these because I have very bad luck. Almost never win anything.

Wendy's splurge

March 8th, 2006 at 05:12 am

went into work today. Had to work late and my lunch I brought was long gone by the time I finished. So I went to Wendy's on the way home. Not good!

Bought 4 meals worth of food since it all looked so good and I couldn't decide. Got a Mandarin Chicken salad for dinner tomorrow night. Got Chili for dinner the next night. Bought a hamburger and fries for dinner tonight. Got a Turkey and swiss sandwich for lunch tomorrow. This is new for Wendy's, deli sandwiches. The sandwich looks really good. We'll see. Everything except the hamburger and fries was pretty healthy. Spent $16.69

I'm in a mood to not cook recently. I need to get back to preparing meals and eating at home. I think I'm feeling overwhelmed, too much to do, between work and the trip and life. Running as fast as I can right now and still seem to keep falling behind. Need more sleep too.

Finished listening to the library book on tape Shadow of the Giant by Orson Scott Card. Sci/Fi. 4th in series. Very good series.

passport woes

March 7th, 2006 at 05:31 am

walked with mom for 55 min

I printed out the form for the passport and filled it out, then I took sometime off work to go to the post office. I checked with the State Dept website to see where to go and our small town post office was listed. Went there but they said they don't do that. Have to go to the next small town over. Went there and gave the lady the forms, paid my $97 and left. Took about 10 min total. Half-way home I suddenly realized I had used my step dads name and data instead of my birth dad. DOH! He has been my dad for almost 40 years and I just don't think of my birth dad in connection with my father. Turned around and went back to the post office. Fortunately she hadn't sent the form out yet and I was able to cross out his information and put in the right information. Had to call my mom to get his bday and place of birth.

So I get back home and finish my work day and start to do a little more research about Canada. What do I find? You don't need to have a passport to go to Canada until Dec 31, 2006. So basically I wasted $97 for the passport + $8 for the photos Frown The website I was looking at earlier must have had it wrong or I mis-read it.

Well at least now I don't have to worry about getting it in time. This is all happening because I'm in a rush. I wish we had figured out we were going in May a few months ago and I would have had time to do the research and think things through.

Now I'm trying to get the money from my online bank account in to my checking account. I hadn't set up the transfer mechanism yet, since I wanted the money to stay there. Now I find we have to pay the entire amount of the tour when we book because we are less than 60 days away.

Anybody use cancellation insurance? I'm debating about getting it. It's 7% of the total or around $140. What I wonder is. what's the criteria for canceling, for example, if my dad had a heart attack, he obviously couldn't go on the trip. My mom and I wouldn't want to go, but I wonder if the cancellation insurance would kick in for us under those conditions.

So many things to check out/research still and no time.

Sent off my check for $2000 to prepay the mortgage. Also sent off for a 3 month supply of my meds. $30

Free Stuff

March 6th, 2006 at 04:53 am

walked with mom for 55 min

Groceries at King Soopers this morning and got my prescription filled. Called several places and nobody close to me had any new prescriptions incentives so decided I needed to just go ahead and get it filled. The pharmacy counter had samples of Tylenol and I got two of them. Spent $21.66 ($10 for prescription). I didn't get very many groceries because I knew I was planning to go to Souper Salad twice this week.

The Entertainment book has 2 coupons for Souper Salad to buy 2 adult lunces for $4.99 each. That's a dollar off each lunch. So I spent $10.72 and got two large salads, 2 baked potatoes, 2 pieces of gingerbread and 4 large bowls of soup. That's two dinners and 4 lunches or 6 meals for $10.72 and I don't have to cook or clean them. I plan to stop there after work and do it again. I used a GC.

Went to Walgreens and got 3 items that are free after rebate this month. Got Toothpaste, a tooth brush that I gave to dad and Garnier Fructuse hair styling stuff that I will give to my niece. Had coupons for all 3 so they actually paid me $2.50 to buy these things. I also got the passport pictures for $7.99 and some Jif extra crunchy PB for $1.00 a jar after raincheck and coupon. Spent $21.33 and will get $11.52 back in rebates. Used 3 GCs.

Went to Borders and bought one book for $6.76 after a 25% off coupon, used a GC.

Went to Barnes and Noble and bought one book for $6.41 had 10% off with membership card and used a GC.

Went to lunch at Ruby Tuesdays and had a large salad and baked potato, spent $9.28

Free Stuff I got this week:

Newpaper - $1
Sample Olay regenerist - I like this stuff, might have to buy some full size.
Sample Head and Shoulders
2 samples Tylenol Extra Strength Rapid Release Gels
Colgate Toothpaste - full size $2.99
Colgate Toothbrush - $3.49
Garnier Fructose hair styling stuff - $3.99

Finished reading the library book Lara Croft Tomb Raider The Amulet of Power by Mike Resnick. Adventure. Ok

Canadian vacation

March 5th, 2006 at 05:38 am

walked with mom for 55 min

Mom fixed lunch and I stayed for a couple hours to talk about our vacation plans.

I have been saving to go on a train trip in the Canadian Rockies with my parents for 3 years. We were originally planning to go in Sept, but that plan doesn't work because of a scheduling conflict, so we decided to go the first of May. Off-season so we get a better price.

Anyways I've spent a lot of time on the internet looking up packages and prices etc today. We picked out a package we like, but still plan to do more research. The thing that caught me off gaurd though is that we have to get a passport. We went to Canada about 7 years ago and just needed copies of our birth certificates. Don't know why I was surprised, it is post 911, I just didn't think about it.

So now I need to hurry up and do that. I have to get pictures taken and from what I read it takes up to 6 weeks to get the passport. We go on vacation in 9 weeks, so I'm really hoping to get it done this week. Another surprise was the price, it's $97, plus the price of the pictures. Ouch!

The trip is very expensive too. Airfare is around $495 and the tour package is about $1700. Still need to add meals, entertainment and shopping, plus a couple new shirts. But I have saved $3300 for this and hope that covers it. If not I have 2 more months to save and I save $100 a month towards this, plus all my extra funds, so that will probably be another 3 or 4 hundred that could go towards it.

I'm looking forward to the trip, but it's kind of a scramble to get it all together. Should have started last month, but we still thought we were going in September then.

Got a free sample of Head and Shoulders in the mail today. Will probably give to my brother. When I sign up for samples now, I'm signing my mom up at the same time. My dad thinks it's pretty cool to get stuff in the mail.

I also got a whopping $234.00 in a settlement for stocks I purchased from one of the big companies that went bankrupt in 2000 and was in the news for accounting fraud. My shares were worth $22,000 at one point and went down to $0 and I get a big $234. About 1% of what I lost. Oh well, I've since made the money back on other things, but still I was hoping for at least 10%. The pot is something like $38 million, but of course the lawyers get most of it.

Finished reading the library book Questionable Remains by Beverly Connor. Mystery. Very good.

I was talking to my oldest niece last night and she told me she was reading Little Women and had two chapters left to go. I gave her the 3 books in the series awhile back. She was telling me how much she liked the book. I remember the first time I read it and how much I enjoyed it too. I've read it a couple times since then and always like it. It's nice to share an appreciation for books with her. I told her she should watch the movie sometime. She didn't know there was one. I said the most recent one I know of had Wynona Rider in it and I didn't like that one, that much. My favorite is the one with Katherine Hepburn. She was excited to hear that, I guess Katherine Hepburn is a favorite of hers. Another thing we have in common Smile

The youngest niece is still grounded, so haven't been able to do anything with her lately. According to her mom, I may never get to take her anywere again.

no raise this year

March 4th, 2006 at 04:43 am

walked with mom for 55 min

We had an all-hands meeting at work today where the main boss told us the news, no raises this year. It seems that the company that bought us gives out their merit increases the first week of Jan. So since they took over the second week, everyone in our company is out of luck till next year. Gee! do you think they planned the timing of that move? PLEBHHHH!!!

But according to our manager we should be happy because next year we'll probably get 10-15% raises. Yeah right. Assuming we all still have jobs by then. Regardless that would be 5% each year and money today is always worth more than money tomorrow.

I had alreay increased my 401K contributions in anticipation of at least a little raise. I was working on my budget and I'm $17 over each month. I don't count extra money that comes in like rebates, etc and I don't count the two months were i get 3 paychecks so I can easily cover the $17, but I wanted to loosen up a little and maybe save/invest even more.

Speaking of 401Ks that was the other kicker. The old company matched 5% and the new company will match 6% with a possibility of 9% depending on how much money they make. But that doesn't kick in until July 1 and when it does kick in all the matching money goes into their stock and you can't sell it. Hasn't anyone learned anything from Enron, etc? It is not a good idea to hold so much company stock. Who knows what the value of that will be in 5 years when I'm hopefully ready to retire?

The old company match went wherever you directed it. All of that money and all of my weekly paycheck contributions still goes where I direct it, but they are talking about changing our investment provider, so who knows what the new options will be?

But we should all be very happy about this. I think that's what ticked me off the most, the manager kept telling us what opportunities there were and how we should all be excited about all of these changes and next years raise, etc. Standing in a pile of cr@p and he can't smell anything. Don't tell me what to think or how to feel about the fact that you're screwing with my money. They are basically telling me that all the work I did last year has no merit, because the company was took over the second week of January.

Then for the last piece of news. The managers finished our reviews, LATE, but HR mandates that they have to deliver them to us and have them signed and returned by next Friday. So of course the managers have no time to talk to everyone, so we're supposed to just go out and read our reviews, sign them and return them and don't bother asking managers to take a lousy hour out of the whole year to actually talk to you about your job. Some people had to write their reviews. What's the point, just skip the whole ordeal, it obviously means nothing, since there is no merit attached to it.

Sorry for the rant, but this has been stewing all day.

Got a free sample of Olay Regenerist in the mail today.

Finished reading the library book Yes, You can still retire comfortably! by Ben Stein and Phil DeMuth. Finance. Good. The book details some scary scenarios about the future for the baby-boomer retires. Mostly about how they won't be able to retire because they spent everything they earned their whole lives and how the government is over-burdened and won't be able to provide for them with Social Security and Medicare. It had some ideas on how to invest for retirement, but they are too conservative for me. The book if very short, 180 pages and worth reading. There's some very funny lines in the book, which I'm sure came from Ben Stein. He has a very dry sense of humor.

Entertainment book II

March 3rd, 2006 at 05:01 am

walked with mom for 35 min

Went to dinner afterwards and spent $12.29

Mailed my 2 half.com books for $1.59

I was showing my Dad my entertainment book and telling him about the deal, so he wanted me to get him one too, but when I checked back with mypoints, that deal is gone. Frown Now it's buy one at 1/2 off, which is a good deal, but it's not free like the other one was. He said he still wants one though so I ordered another one for him. I think I'll give it to him for his bday, which is in April, I'll give it to him now and get him something else then. Spent $19.99

I got a 50 minute phone card from AT&T in the mail today, part of a class-action suit that was setteled (sp?) It's not valid till later this year. I might give it to my grandma or my brother since I get free long distance through my work. Not that I use it. I probably make less than $10 worth of long distance calls a year.

Finished listening to the library book on tape Blue Gold by Clive Cussler. Adventure. Very good.

March Goals

March 2nd, 2006 at 04:26 am

walked with mom for 35 min

Sold two books at half.com for $1 each

My goals for March are:

1. Pre-pay mortgage by $2000.00. I increased this because I am expecting my computer rebates and tax returns this month so should be able to come up with another $500.

2. Walk 20 times for at least 35 min

3. Spend $400 or less for household items. Since I've stayed under $450 for the last 2 months, I'm lowering this goal.

4. Lose 5 lbs. - This is a financial goal as well as a health goal, since it will save me money.

I'm still reading stuff in the evenings, but it's requirements documents, design docs and technical stuff - no fun Frown