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Archive for March, 2006

The weekend is over . . .

March 27th, 2006 at 08:31 pm

We had a nice weekend. My boyfriend and I went out to dinner on Saturday (a rarity lately), and in general relaxed this weekend. He's travelling for work all this week, so I decided it's time for a bit of spring cleaning.

My boyfriend and I have different ideas of what "clean" is. In general, he's kind of a messy guy, but will do his share of housework. He just decides things are in need of cleaning waaaay after I think it has to be done. The studio he lived in before we moved in together was just crazy. I think I mopped the floors more than he did . . . and he lived there for four years before I met him. Crazy stuff . . .

Anyway, I figure since he's out of the house, I'll do a real spring cleaning this year.

Spending has been okay, still underbudget. I need to make a small grocery shopping trip, and have to bring some type of appetizer to a work function on Friday. Other than that, no planned spending until payday on Friday.


Sat, 3/25:
$3.99 coffee
$26.95 dinner out

Sun, 3/26:
no spending

Mon, 3/27:
$4.00 coffee
$15.00 cigarettes

$50.31 left in budget 'til 3/30

A sunny weekend!

March 25th, 2006 at 02:53 pm

It's actually sunny here! We'll see how long it lasts, but right now I'm starting to form grand plans for yard work. My boyfriend and I moved into a rental house a little over a year ago. You can tell at somepoint someone cared about the yard, there's tons of terraces and great plants, but right now it's overgrown. We made a dent last year, but hope to get it into good shape this year. And it's finally getting nice enough! Yah!

Overall, things are doing well here financially. My last student loan payment went thru, I now have just $1237.41 on my first private loan! Very exciting. I'm right on track for paying it off in May.


Wed, 3/22:
$3.99 coffee
$2.00 soda
$2.00 groceries

Thurs, 3/23:
no spending

Fri, 3/24:
$15.00 cigarettes
$2.00 soda

$102.25 left in budget 'til 3/30


Fri, 3/24:
0.06 brick and mortar checking acct. interest

$81.82 to be used 3/31 for student loan payment


Back from the dentist . . .

March 21st, 2006 at 03:45 pm

Alright, back from the dentist, but before I tackle last night's dishes I wanted to post my spending update. It's not very pretty, but my savings is going well. Go figure Smile

The good news is, even with all my spending lately I'm still doing well percentage wise (percentages don't add up to 100% because the month is not over):

Must Haves (goal 50%)
~ Actual: 47.2%

Save (goal 30%)
~ Actual: 29.9%

Wants (goal 20%)
~ Actual: 14.2%

So overall things are going well this month. I just need to get back motivated about the little things that can add up.


Fri, 3/17:
$14.00 cigarettes
$3.99 coffee
$9.00 lunch
$16.62 groceries

Sat, 3/18:
$3.99 coffee
$15.00 lunch with friends

Sun, 3/19:
no spending

Mon, 3/20:
$3.99 coffee
$17.17 drug store (hair products, snacks)
$2.98 coffee
$12.26 groceries

Tues, 3/21:
$15.00 cigarettes
$2.00 snacks

$127.24 left in budget 'til 3/30


($25 ING new account bonus received, unused)

Mon, 3/20:
$0.39 drug store sale savings
$6.37 grocery store sale savings
$50.00 HSBC new account bonus

$81.76 to be used 3/31 for student loan payment

Crazy spending . . .

March 21st, 2006 at 09:32 am

Sometimes I do this to myself, I just got paid so I feel like I have money. I bought lunch and coffee the last few days at work and it just adds up. I'm down to $142.24 (from $250) in my spending budget. This is supposed to last until 3/30! I'm sure I can make it last, but still.

Last night after work I knew I had to go grocery shopping. I don't own a car, and I take the bus to work. I have two options for grocery stores in my neighborhood that are within walking distance of my bus line and my home.

One store is closer, but doesn't really have good prices for everyday foods. They do have a great produce section, and good prices for fresh items (fish, produce etc).

The other store is farther away, but tends to be cheaper. It's about 6 extra blocks, which doesn't seem that far, but when you're lugging a gallon of milk and groceries it can seem like miles Wink

I generally decide which store to go to based I what I need, and I knew I was stocking up on basics like milk that would be cheaper at the store that was further away.

Well, I actually motivated myself to go to the store farther away, despite being tired and just wanting to veg at home. Turns out everything I had planned to buy was on sale! Yeah! I ended up saving $6.37 on a $12.26 bill. I guess that sort of makes up for spending to much on coffee and whatnot. I'll just have to watch spending the next week or so.

I'll update with specific spending amounts later. I have today off, but have to head to the dentist for a cleaning Smile

New payperiod . . .

March 19th, 2006 at 04:02 pm

I got paid on friday. My check was a bit higher than usual because of overtime. I split my extra overtime between short-term save (earmarked for dentist bills and an upcoming vacation in June) and paying off my student loan.

Here's the break down:

$42.46 'savings'
+ $1.88 left over in previous budget
- $25.00 ING account opening bonus (pending, not received)

= $19.34 extra applied to debt

$840.62 paycheck (+$19.34 from above):

$262.50 1/2 of April rent
$57.63 regular gov. student loan payment
$194.49 extra private student loan (planned $160, $34.49 from extra savings and overtime)
$76.00 short-term save (planned $38, extra $38 from overtime)
$250 "spending" for next two weeks


I still have $25 pending from ING Direct. It has actually been deposited to my ING account (which is why I had added it to the totals for 'extra savings'), but it's not available to withdraw until 3/22.

Received ebookdrop payments :)

March 15th, 2006 at 08:45 pm

I just went to check my email after posting, and I received all 3 of my pending ebookdrop payments (via PayPal).

I'm thinking there must have been some kind of problem on their side, maybe with how many people were using them. I don't know, makes me kind of wary that it took me this long to receive payment when previously I got payment much more quickly. I think I may check and see if any other books are 'wanted' and maybe send one just to test.


$1.92 ebookdrop (1/26)
$3.52 ebookdrop (1/31)
$5.95 ebookdrop (1/31)

$42.46 to be used 3/17 for student loan payment

Still feeling sick

March 15th, 2006 at 08:29 pm

I'm still feeling a bit sick. I have a cough and just haven't really gotten over being sick last week. Mainly just tired.

I went grocery shopping last night, overall a success. Saved some money and stuck to the list Smile Well, I did splurge on one thing. I bought a big bag of roma tomatoes. I love tomatoes sliced with a bit of salt and pepper. For $2.39 I probably got about four servings. In fact, after typing this I'm going to go have a couple Smile


$39.82 groceries

$3.99 coffee

$2.88 left in budget 'til 3/16


$4.85 grocery store card and 1 coupon

$31.07 to be used 3/17 for student loan payment

Dentist today and other spending

March 14th, 2006 at 04:55 pm

I'm on such a bad roll lately. I didn't realize todays dentist appointment was actually a procedure, next week is the cleaning.

It actually worked out alright, they thought they would have to do a crown, but ended up just doing an onlay (kind of like a partial crown, a little piece that's cemented on the biting surface of the tooth).

Since it didn't take as long as it would have, my dentist asked if I wanted to go ahead and replace two fillings in the surrounding teeth. These were planned for a couple months from now because both fillings have been around for a while and are starting to decay around the filling (apparently fillings actually have a lifespan, who knew?). Fewer dentist visits is always nice.

Total cost was $552.60 rather than the $547 they estimated, but that's for essentially 3 procedures. Yah!

I stopped off at the drug store to pick up some toiletries (deodorant on sale, and hair product). I had planned on going to the store, but I think I'll wait and go later tonight. I still had a numb mouth and just wanted to head home.


$15.53 drug store
$0.01 to brick and mortar savings account (realized I had let it sit at zero, and didn't want it to close)

$50.54 left in budget 'til 3/16


$0.50 sale savings at drug store

$26.22 to be used 3/17 for student loan payment

Loooong day

March 13th, 2006 at 09:19 pm

Silly me remembered there was a staff meeting today, after calling in sick on friday. What I didn't remember was to check and see if it was before or after work. Yeah, it was after, but I showed up before. So an already long day became even longer because I was just silly.

Spending was a bit high today because in my rush to make it to what I thought was a morning staff meeting, I forgot lunch. Oh well, frustrating, but I have some wiggle room in my budget (even though I get paid in just a few days).

I have a dentist appointment tomorrow and the whole day off. I'm planning on sleeping in. No expenditures for the dentist, since I get two free cleanings a year.

Spending and Saving:

$10 groceries

$9 lunch
$15 cigarettes

$67.58 left in budget 'til 3/16

Being sick saves me money :)

March 12th, 2006 at 10:11 pm

I've been sick the last few days. I finally felt better today, and I got out of the house for the first time since Thursday. I called in sick on Friday, and spent most of Friday and Saturday sleeping.

This was a very frugal weekend. Part of that was being sick, but today my boyfriend and I went for a hike in order to get out of the house. This evening we had friends over for dinner. No expenditures since everyone brought food and we used what we already had in the house.

I made an extra payment to my student loan. Last paycheck I only made an extra payment of $130 instead of $160, since I knew I had some bills coming up. I stayed way below budget though, and decided to go ahead and make the additional $30 payment.

I already received my bonus for opening an account with ING Direct. Still waiting for all the processing with HSBC.


$5.19 cigarettes
$6.62 groceries

$30.00 extra student loan payment

$101.58 left in budget 'til 3/16


$0.50 grocery savings
$0.22 ING direct "test deposits"

$25.00 ING Direct opening bonus

$25.72 to be used 3/17 for student loan payment

Various spending and account bonuses

March 8th, 2006 at 10:17 pm

Nothing too exciting going on here. I did clean up the house a bit this evening, and get some laundry done. Always a nice accomplishment Smile

I've been going over my budget to see if I want to adjust things a bit because of my raise. I'm still undecided. I'll probably up my student loan payments a bit, but I'm still not certain what the change in take home pay will be. I think I'll what until I have a clearer picture of things.

Also, I signed up for two account bonuses. One from HSBC for $50 for opening a checking account, and another from ING for $25.

The HSBC account is a checking account that I plan on using in conjunction with my HSBC savings account. The checking has a minimum balance OR direct deposit requirement in order to waive the monthly fee. My work allows me to split up my direct deposit to multiple accounts, so I'm going to set it up to send my short-term savings to the HSBC checking. Then I'll just transfer the money to the savings account in order to earn more interest.

Savings and Spending:

$4.00 snacks at work

$3.99 coffee
$6.00 cigarettes

$148.89 left in budget 'til 3/16

Monday again

March 6th, 2006 at 07:40 pm

We had a nice weekend with my parents. Lots of relaxing and visiting. Some spending, a quick run to the store to get beverages and ice cream, but overall pretty good. My mom always packs tons of food along when she visits. I keep trying to convince her that we do have grocery stores here Wink

Work is going alright, kind of hectic still. I'm sort of looking for a new job, more like keeping an eye out for something interesting. I've also signed up for some internal training that should help the overall job outlook (always good to learn new things).

Saving and Spending:

$20.05 groceries

$3.99 coffee Frown
$15 cigarettes

$162.88 left in budget 'til 3/16

It's the weekend!

March 3rd, 2006 at 07:57 pm

My parents are visiting this weekend. Strangely they visit fairly often (they only live about 5 hours away, and enjoy the drive). My boyfriend finds it sort of strange. I think his parents have visited us once in the 5 years we've been together. He does get along with my parents, and always enjoys when they visit and especially that they bring their dog along. I grew up with the same type of dog as he did, so he always messes up and calls my parent's current dog by his (now no longer with us) dog's name. Cute Smile

I was paid today, but the money went out remarkably fast.

Here's a break down:

$804.66 paycheck . . .

$262.50 half of April rent
$38.00 to short-term save
$100.00 to regular private student loan payment
$130.00 to extra student loan payment (plus 0.50 from sale savings at the drug store)
$274.16 for "spending" over next 2 weeks

And now to the scary amount of spending today . . .

$28.21 internet bill
$15.00 cigarettes
$4.11 phone bill
$3.99 coffee
$6.39 lunch
$12.04 girly supplies at drug store

Really my spending wouldn't have been bad except for my crazy poor planning . . . We ran out of coffee this morning, and so I bought my own once I was at work (right when I was doing a good job of NOT going to the coffee shop). Then, I realized I had forgotten my lunch and ended up spending over $6 for a sandwich and some chips. It was annoying because it was a totally unplanned expense, and normally I ALWAYS remember to bring my lunch. Then, I had a bit of a girly emergency and was completely unprepared while at work. I had to run to the drug store, and it's not like I was really shopping around for sales . . .

Eh, oh well . . . I'll just try and be careful from now on Smile

$201.92 left in budget til 3/16

Edit: I totally forgot that I got a raise. Yeah, 19 cents more per hour. Sheesh, they couldn't even round up to a quarter.

February Recap . . .

March 3rd, 2006 at 07:00 pm

Overall February was a good month. I received my tax return and put that directly towards debt. This is also the first month I have tracked "extra income" and put all of that towards debt as well. This could be coupon or sale savings, overtime, bonuses for opening accounts, or selling items (such as books).

Here's the break down of my budget:

Must Haves (goal 50% or $1007.13)
~ Actual: 46.2% or $929.87

Save (goal 30% or $604.28)
~ Actual: 41.6% or $838.36

Wants (goal 20% or $402.85)
~ Actual: 12.2% or $246.03

These numbers are great! Especially my "save" category. Almost $900 towards debt reduction and savings. Also, the "wants" category did very well this month. Not only was the percentage very low, but also the dollar value. In January I spent $434.10 on "wants," compared to just $246 in February. Yah!


Here's the break down of debt/savings in February, and the change since January:


~ $112.06 short-term savings
(up $112.00)
~ $1.00 long-term savings
(down $30.00 - account incentive used towards debt)
~ $1,021.24 IRA
(up $5.31)
~ $2,994.57 401K
(up $227.06)
~ $340.33 vested Pension
(up $35.82)

Total Savings: $4,470.20


~ $1,655.19 Private Student Loan 1
(down $758.26)
~ $3,260.45 Private Student Loan 2
(down $27.81)
~ $8,322.47 Government Student Loan
(down $36.07)

Total Debt: $13,238.11

Almost the end of the pay period

March 1st, 2006 at 06:45 pm

Things are going well here. I am down to zero in my budget, but am right on track for my friday payday. I received my end of the month bonus check yesterday, and used that as well as some of my normal spending budget to make another student loan payment. It's now under $1800 with one last payment to post Smile


$13.03 cigarettes
$3.99 coffee

+ $93.54 end of month bonus
$55.21 extra student loan #1 payment
$10.28 phone bill

zero left in budget til 3/3


$38.00 from end of month incentive to short-term savings