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Archive for November, 2008

Sleepy sleepy day

November 30th, 2008 at 09:28 pm

I worked 7am to 3pm today (Sunday.) Feels strange because I am used to working nights but they need an RN every other weekend on days so that is what I'm doing now. I got home and immediately hit the couch for a nap that turned into sleeping through the evening.

It is now 12am and I am AWAKE! E. had a 24 hour throwing up bug so I am holding my breath awaiting the potential first pangs of nausea in myself and C. and DH. Hopefully we all stay healthy.

She is feeling better now but still looks a little gray in the face and generally limp.

Thank goodness the girls are still on vacation tomorrow. That means we will all sleep in until at least 9am. They have hair appts. at 10am. I regret making them that early. It sounded good at the time but now I would prefer if we could all just stay in bed until 11.

We are definitely a night owl family! DH is still awake and watching Star Wars. He is lucky he can sleep in every day until 8 or 9 and then walk upstairs to start work in his pj's with the cat curled up beside him and the dog warming his feet. I envy that sometimes!

It is rather "mild" (for Ohio) tonight and it is 66 degrees in the house even though the thermostat is set at 65. I am very used to this temp. In fact, on Saturday morning I woke feeling warm and it was because the girls had turned the heat up to 70. Felt too hot!

I messed up this weekend and didn't do my weekly shopping trip. Of course we had extra kids most of the weekend that tore through all the food like cereal, milk and snacks. Love that the girls have so many friends but for such skinny people I can't believe how much they all eat!

Now I only have barely $40 until Friday in the food budget. We have enough laying around the house for at least 3 meals so we should be ok but we'll see how it goes with my picky eaters.

I filled my car up for $19.89 today. WOW. I still have $10 in the gas budget until Friday but I don't think I will need it so I will use that for food. I'm going to put 11 cents toward my challenge money. That raises my grand total to 28 cents. This is hard.

Well, gonna sign off for now even though I will probably be up for several more hours!

Expensive weekend/shopping tales

November 29th, 2008 at 02:17 pm

Went shopping yesterday and joined the ranks of the "black Friday" bargain hunter. I DID find some great bargains along with some wild people.

Probably the funniest thing I saw was a woman pushing a Target cart through Kohls. She made it to the inside of the store and was about to head down a main aisle but was stopped by some workers who told her she couldn't bring the Target cart inside. It was a strange scene. She had the cart piled full of Target bags.

The best part was the look of confusion she had on her face when they told her she had to turn around and leave the cart outside. My cousin and I had a pretty good laugh.

I am ALMOST finished with my Christmas shopping. Have to order the Wii fit from gamespot today, buy my grandpa and uncle a flashlight and my niece a game. DH is getting his dad a Lowes gift certificate and his mom a computer game and then guess what? WE ARE DONE! And it isn't even December!! yay!

The busiest 2 stores in the mall yesterday morning were
1. Charlotte Russe
2. American Eagle

I spent $67 in Charlotte Russe and got so much stuff I don't know where to start. You got 30% off your grand total plus the entire store was already on sale! Yeah, it isn't the most high quality clothing out there but for my girls, my cousin and my niece, it will be great because these are girls who tear through clothes at ridiculous speed.

I spent $85 at American Eagle where all tops and jewelry were buy one get one 50% off (even on sale items) and then another 25% off your grand total. I got a pair of clogs, 2 shirts, 2 necklaces and a pair of pants. For American Eagle this is pretty good.

The lines in American Eagle and Charlotte Russe were a good 45 minutes long.

After these two stores we checked out Hollister....boring and of course NOTHING on sale. There wasn't even much of a line. They need to consider offering better sales. Next we went to Aeropostale where I bought one item that E. wanted, a zip hoodie. It was cute but completely overpriced at almost $50. (and that was with a 50% discount!) I didnt find anything else in Aeropostale worth buying.

I visited Express and bought C. a pink scarf, black cardigan sweater and a beautiful camisole/tank. I had to argue with the cashier who insisted the stores 20% off the total was more than the 15$ gift certificate I had. It wasn't.

After leaving the mall we headed to Old Navy (second trip in a week) where I bought my cousin's present plus a winter coat for DH. I spent almost $50 on cousin's gift...had budgeted $15! But, I couldn't have gotten my shopping done without him. He patiently stood in lines for me while I shopped. He carried all my stuff etc...I honestly couldn't have done it without him so I wanted to get him something he really wanted. He picked out a thick zip hoodie/jacket and a scarf.

The last store we visited was Borders where I spent $50. Got E. hardback of the third twilight series book...can't remember the name, and got C. Uncle Tom's Cabin, a Jodi Picoult novel and Kurt Vonnegut's Breakfast of Champions.

We ate at Taco Bell before heading home and I spent $5. It was an expensive day but we had a blast and I did find some pretty good bargains...nothing too earth shattering but that's ok.

I have saved all my receipts this Christmas and am tracking my spending very carefully. So far, I have not used any credit cards...all cash. (Well, cash transferred to the checking account to pay the AMEX) My ultimate goal was to keep this year below $1000.00. I don't think that is going to happen because I have already spent $856 and still have another 150-200 dollars to go. Still, I am happy because in the last few years I have NEVER spent this little at Christmas and I have always put the majority of it on my credit card. So, this is progress.

Right now I am grappling with the temptation of adorable Juicy Couture earrings for E. and C. but so far I have resisted! I think I will save them for their birthday. Wink

Well, that is all from the land of shopping. I had to work today and had a few stressful, cursing, delusional residents to deal with. Luckily, I was making rounds with the psychiatrist so he helped me defuse a potentially violent situation.

Well, him and some Haldol and Ativan!

DH is grilling in 40 degree weather tonight because I am too lazy and tired to even think about doing anything but sitting on the couch. Thank God for helpful husbands!

E. CLEANED her room. There are no dirty dishes with rotting milk, the carpet is cleaned and vacuumed and DH helped her move her furniture around. It looks awesome. Now we need to get C. to clean hers and we'll be in business.

I have an insanely busy week coming up. I have picked up quite a few hours to pay for all these presents!

Feeling better about everything

November 27th, 2008 at 08:35 pm

In my last entry I was quite upset and frustrated regarding holiday spending. I am feeling a lot better for several reasons. First of all, at Thanksgiving today, we agreed with extended famiy there woud be no gift exchange this year...what is important is spending time together and overeating!

Secondly, my Aunt and I agreed to spend $10-$15 per person in our close family. (We usually spend $30-$40) This includes 7 people (2 cousins, Aunt, Uncle, Mom, Grandma and Grandpa)

DH and I agreed to a $20 limit on his parents and SIL and I agreed to $20 limit on each others kids. We will not exchange gifts with DH's side except for the $20 gifts for my two nieces that live close.

I will be giving Christmas cards and homemade cookies/candy to my aides at work. I have 4 close friends at work that I will spend $5 on them for something a little special.

This adds up to a grand total of: $225.00 at the MOST.

This is realistic. This also means my mom, aunt, grandma and cousins are done!

We sat down as a family and the girls both agreed that instead of buying/consuming more "stuff" they don't really need that we would be donating $25 each to the charity of their choice. (maybe $50 each...we'll see)They seemed genuinely excited to do this! I have already bought them a few gifts and I need to get them a couple more (E. especially) but this year will not be consumed with an overabundance of "stuff."

Anyway, I have already spent $405 on Christmas and it looks like I will spend appx. another $500. This will bring my grand total to just over $900.00. In the past 5 years I don't think I have EVER spent less than $3,000.00 for Christmas so this represents a major financial shift.

More than that however, I hope it represents a ideological/philosophical shift in that the true meaning of Christmas will finally emerge here at our little space in this grand universe.

I feel like I have gained a lot of perspective. There is definite freedom in simplicity. I am tired of running in circles to buy overpriced plastics. Yes, I truly enjoy giving thoughtful gifts to my family but it isn't necessary to go into major debt over it all.

Have a blessed holiday weekend everyone.

Good news/Bad News/Rant warning

November 26th, 2008 at 04:07 pm

Let's start with the good news:

1.Max the dog is going to live.

2.The organization of bills/payment schedules for December is completed.

3.Tomorrow is eat large meals for free day. (And bring home leftovers)

4.I found my gift certificate for a free turkey.

Now the bad news.

1. New vet bill for Max is 35.00

2. December is going to be SUPER tight because of Christmas and I am STRESSING out!!

3. I have to bring a bottle of Kahlua to my Aunts tomorrow and I have no idea how much that will cost.

I could add more "bad" news but those are the 3 biggies for the day.

Did I mention I also am mad at my husband because I think he is acting like a spoiled baby??

Here is why: He has all these grand plans to buy C. and E. all these expensive gifts like a bunch of wii games, guitar hero, another DDR mat, Ipod, Nintendo DS. Now, when I total this up I come up with a very rough estimate of at least 500.00 (this is excluding the free Ipod using his AMEX points.)

I don't even think the girls want most of this stuff but DH thinks they do. C. wants mostly clothes and E. only truly wants ONE certain Wii game along with a few clothes. I think the girls are going along with their dad because it is their way of appeasing him.

I have no psychology degree but I think DH feels left out because the girls are older and he can't buy them toys etc... The things they want are things he knows only I can pick out for them. I feel kind of sad for him in a way because I know he wants to connect with the girls and this is the only way he knows how...buy them too much stuff.

So this is my dilemna. I am frustrated beyond belief right now and have no idea what to do to fix things. I am literally in tears.

He took C. to the movies and he was angry when he left because he wanted to go to Lowe's and Best Buy when C. and her friend were in the movies. But, he knows there is no money to do this. (I didn't bring it up, he just knows) But I pushed him over the edge because I yelled at him when he said he was going to take the truck that gets 12 mpg. (this trip will total 50 miles.)

So, now we are fighting, I feel bad we can't buy the girls all that DH wants. Oh, I just feel bad about everything! Debt sucks.

Why is Christmas shrouded in this ugly consumerism? It is like some gaudy nightmare!! It is like I am walking around hypnotized. I know in the logical part of my mind that if we don''t have the money than we just shouldn't buy it. And that Christmas is NOT about going into debt to buy too much stuff. But, the emotional part of my mind - my silly, misplaced, sentimental synapses are telling me that my daughters will wake up Christmas morning and be emotionally traumatized by not having a bunch of gifts to unwrap.

What do I do? I don't know. I just know I REFUSE to break out the credit cards. Isn't living in debt and stress just as traumatic to my girls as a few less presents at Christmas? I just want to stop crying over something so silly. There are people all over the world that would love to have a tiny fraction of what my family (and most americans) have. Yet, here I sit, heart pounding, stomach lurching. And for what? STUFF?

I think we need to have a family meeting tonight. We need to talk about materialism and how it can bankrupt both society and the soul.

Beginning the challenge

November 25th, 2008 at 11:15 am

I have decided to start my own "$20 challenge." Today I found 0.17$ on the ground so that will be my starting balance. This blog will allow me to track my balance. It will be interesting to see how much I can accumulate by December 31st.

Any found/unexpected funds will be applied to this challenge and deposited into my Savings Account. Yay! I'm kind of excited now!

My 10 hour shift flew by last night. I am not usually that busy working nights but I didn't mind the change of pace...kind of nice once in awhile.

Regarding my job, I am in pretty desperate need for some new nursing uniforms. I will probably check out Goodwill or another local thrift store. Still though, I am kind of yearning for a crisp NEW uniform...sigh, I will keep on dreaming!

They passed out gift certificates for a 10-12 pound turkey at work the other day and I can't find mine! Still need to work on my orgnaizational skills. Pretty sure it is somewhere around the house... We were going to cook it and make creamed turkey to freeze.


I wonder sometimes if I am too cocky about my job. I take it for granted that since I work in healthcare my job is recession proof...there is a nursing shortage too. But last night I was thinking what if they replaced me with an LPN who they can pay less? I don't think it will happen because the government requires a certain amount of RN "hours." But still...just a random worry.

I have put in my time in hospitals on crazy hectic med/surg floors and I really like the job I have now. It is 12 minutes from my house, relatively laid back and perfect for my life right now. I do not want to go back to the hospital at this point. Plus, I am a supervisor where I work and that gives me a little extra money I would lose if I had to go back to the hospital. Hopefully none of these worries will come to pass...don't think they will but best to prepare for the worst in this economy!

The checking account balance is holding up. The $350 surprise has saved me from having to dip further into my meager savings! Still, I feel good knowing I have some money available for mini-emergencies.

There is no gymnastics this week so that saves a lot of driving. In fact, I put $17 into my car last Friday and I still have almost half a tank left. If I'm careful I just might make it until Friday before I need more! I still have $20 in allotted cash for gas but I am hoping I don't need to use it! Gas prices where I live are averaging 1.65-1.75. Very nice. I just hope people don't go crazy with the suv's again.

Still getting retail coupons/discounts in the mail near daily. Latest is from Express in the form of take $30 off $75 purchase or $15 off $30 purchase through December. I'm debating if I should buy C.'s sweater at this store. I was going to do American Eagle or Hollister but she already has a bunch of clothes from these stores. Express seems a little more grown-up and she seems to be shifting her style here lately to more classic type clothing and less prepackaged trendy teen looks. I worry about her clothes obsession sometimes though and maybe I am feeding into it...but as long as she is ok with thrift store finds mixed in here and there I don't mind. I'm happy she doesn't want to do cookie cutter clothes...



...Haven't checked the markets yet. Do I really want to?

"Extra" money!

November 24th, 2008 at 09:48 am

Well, it looks like it is true. I have $350.00 more in my checking account than I thought. On October 25th I had a withdrawal out of checking, when I balanced my account 2 weeks ago I must have subtracted it twice...or something like that!

Now, because of my financially challenged mind, I am TERRIFIED to touch this money. I just can't believe it is true. I am used to my checking account being LESS than I think not MORE.

What will I use this for? Bills of course. What else?

My thermostat is set at 65 today because DH is out. I am wondering however, if I should just leave it at a steady 67. Would that be better than turning it up and down all the time. I'm just not sure.

My homemade bread turned out pretty well. It was a little dense but the flavor was delicious. I used honey in place of sugar and that made it taste wonderful. We have gone through a loaf and a half already! I put 2 loaves in the freezer. I'll take one loaf to my Aunt's on Thanksgiving and I guess we will keep the other one here.

I was calculating the cost of making the bread and it came out to around 5.00, maybe a little less. That is what? 1.25/loaf? That is around the cheapest store brand white bread I can buy. This bread was a lot better and healthier than that so I'm happy. However, it was a lot of work and takes a lot of time.

I have decided to work tonight...boo. But I needed the money and an exra 10 hour shift will help a lot. Normally I work 8 hour shifts but they were desperate so I relented. My first pay in December should be awesome because I get paid double time for Thanksgiving plus I will have an extra 10 hours! yay!

I hate to sound like I love money so much. I really don't. I just want to wipe out my debt so I can work a little less but still save a lot more.

I have decided to go shopping on Friday. I have NEVER been shopping the day after Thanksgiving but I am off and I have to work the weekend plus 4 out of 5 days next week. I would like to finish up most of my shopping.

We have decided to cash in some of DH's AMEX points to get C. a new Ipod and E. a wii game. Yes, we were saving those points for vacation but it doesn't wipe them out completely and they get built up fairly quickly. Besides, it's like free money for Christmas presents...literally very free because those points are a result of DH's expenses (flights, hotels, equipment, meals etc...) that his company reimburses. Pretty good deal if you ask me!

Gotta go and hop in the shower, have a great day everyone.




$405.00

November 23rd, 2008 at 11:35 am

Is how much I spent on my Christmas shopping trip yesterday. Went $105 over budget but it's ok because I am still well within my budget...I just was going to wait until after Thanksgiving to finish but I found so many good deals there was no way I could pass them up.

Plus, my VS and Bath and Body coupons expire Nov. 30th and I got new ones yesterday that are valid in December, although I don't really know if I need to use them...we'll see, I might give a gift to one of my friends.

I got A LOT of stuff. My bill at Bath and Body before all my discounts totalled appx. 90.00 but I only paid 48.00!! We had to do a few transactions but oh well. There was no line...hmmm, a sign of the failing economy? Actually, there were no lines anywhere. BTW, at Bath and Body their lotions, sprays, and body soaps are buy 3 get 2 free. Pretty good deal if you ask me! I got Wild Orchid for grandma and Midnight Pomegranate for my mom.

Paid full price (80.00) for Abercrombie jeans for C. She wears the Emma boot cut in 0s and of course there was nothing on sale. If I had a lot more money I could have gone wild in Abercrombie and Fitch. They seem to have grown up some. Not so many silly logo tees with A&F splashed across the front. C. doesn't do logo tees and that makes me HAPPY. For a 14 year old she has pretty classy taste!

I don't think I paid full price for ANYTHING in Old Navy where my total was 207.00. I bought myself a nice shirt for 7.99 and cute Khakis on sale. M. got 2 shirts for work. The rest were Christmas gifts for C. and E. scarves, hats, ballet flats and several shirts. A LOT OF STUFF for only 207.00. Oh, I think I paid full price for the scarves but it is something they do need for winter.

While at the cash register in Old Navy I had the cashier take away several items I had in my cart in order to keep my total low. She said a lot of people have been doing this.

At Victoria's Secret I paid $10 for two lotions that were originally 2 for $20. The other store we went to was Charlotte Russe where I bought jewelry (3 necklaces, 2 pair earrings and 4 buttons) for $26.00

We also visited Aerie which I would highly recommend for anyone with teen girls. They carry 32A bras! We didn't buy bras but I bought 8 pairs of underwear for $25. Very Cute!

We had one splurge yesterday and that was eating out at our favorite restaurant (NOT a CHAIN). It was 34.34 for 4 people including dessert (huge banana split, hot fudge sundae and coconut cream pie!)So, yes, we could have gone home to eat but it was SO YUMMY!

We had so much fun yesterday! Knowing I have a budget in place and knowing I am paying IN CASH for the first christmas EVER has helped ease my mind and make for a less stressful holiday season!


In other news, I am in the process of making 4 loaves of homemade bread. They are rising in the pans now. This is the first time I have tried making bread so it should be interesting to see the final results. So far it looks and smells like I think it should! I want to cut way back on processed foods and HIGH fructose corn syrup because I am hearing terrible things about it. I also need to lose weight!

Went grocery shopping for the week today and spent a total of 114.00. Pretty good. Will have to buy cat food later this week but I still feel happy about this. I have some new vegetarian recipes I am trying this week.

Have a good Sunday all!

balance still up

November 22nd, 2008 at 10:57 am

I mentioned yesterday it looks like I've got around 300.00 extra in my checking than I thought...well so far today that is still holding.

I have gone over it at least 50 times this week. It looks like I may have subtracted a 300.00 withdrawal TWICE. But, like I said, I'm going to keep checking daily and visit the bank next week to make sure I really have this money. If I do I might transfer 50.00 to savings and use the rest toward credit cards.

We'll see.

Today I'm off to Old Navy and I have the AMEX card. Scary. Even though the AMEX isn't really credit because it HAS to be paid in full every month if FEELS like credit in my hand. I have a strict budget of 300.00 today. (That is how much extra my first December pay check will be)

So, I kind of feel like a "recovering" alcoholic entering a bar for the first time. Really, I do. But, Old Navy is having a big sale and my husband needs a new winter coat plus I'm going to pick up a present for my cousin.

After Old Navy we are going to Bath and Body and Victoria's Secret where I have coupons and a 10.00 gift card.

Well, I'm going to get ready now. Wish me luck!

Almost there!

November 21st, 2008 at 02:06 pm

I have to work 4 hours tonight (11p-3a) then I am OFF until Tuesday!! YAY!

This week has been so hectic and I am exhausted. Today I got 5 hours of sleep which is pretty good for this week.

My online banking is up and running! According to all my calculations I have around $300 more in checking than I thought. I don't trust it though. I plan on checking my account at least once a day so hopefully within the next week I will have everything straightened out.

I feel like I am handicapped when it comes to banking and anything money related. I'm going to keep at it though. It took me awhile to get into this mess though, so I can't expect everything to be fixed in one week.

I got paid today, $1230.97.
I put 1000.00 in checking
I will withdraw 200.00 in cash tomorrow and that will be for groceries, gas, misc. supplies for the next 7 days.

I am not sure what bills I will pay yet. I don't have many left for the month and I can't pay my mortgage until next Friday because it's more than $1000! I will probably pay for my car since it's due soon, gas, medical bill, cell and dish network. So then the only bill left will be mortgage which will get paid next week.

It looks like I will end November with appx:
100.00 savings 1
100.00 savings 2
35.00 savings 3

Pretty pathetic I know but I guess it is better than nothing plus I have not TOUCHED a credit card since the first week in September and all my bills are current. I have also managed an extra 1100.00 to bank of america, 75.00 hair cut and almost 100.00 in unexpected prescriptions.

Tonight I am taking C. to the movies with a friend. I am giving her $10. E. is going to an overnight party at a friend's house. Free!

This is why I am broke?

November 19th, 2008 at 06:12 pm

Too busy? hmm. Let's review my last (appx) 24 hours.

Tuesday night at 11p went to work

Got home at 7:30 am.

Asleep at 8am

"slept" until 12:15pm (woke up every hour looking at the clock afraid I might miss alarm)

Pulled on clothes, brushed hair. left to pick up girls.

1pm after retrieving girls from two separate schools started off on 1 hour drive to dermatologist.

2p-3:30 spent with Dr.

3:30-4:30 drove home.

4:30-5:15 dug through laundry looking for cheerleading clothes for C. and threw frozen wings and 1/2 bag tator tots in oven.

5:15 dropped C. off at school
came back home. yelled at husband to hurry andat 5:45 drove back to school for "meet the team" night

6p-7p meet the team

7p-8:30P drove to walmart and got supplies to make pink glittery/green sponge lettered element table "radium"
9p sat down, breathed and typed this up.

also washed one load of laundry today and managed to inhale a few bites of food. I am going on 4 hours of sleep and I have to return to work at 11p tonight.

Now, I know I ultimately choose to live this life but at times I feel like I am being pulled in thousands of different directions. Who has time to deal with money?

Right now, my house is a MESS and there is no way I have energy to do ANYTHING. The kids have washed their faces, applied their magic creams, taken their vitamins, done their homework and are almost asleep.

Tomorrow will be just as hectic. I have to get my hair cut at 2p. Drive E. to gymnastics, get home and then go to work AGAIN!

My life is the reason I need to get my debt under control because I cannot continue to work 32 hours per week and run around like this. I am so tired. I know millions of women do more than this every day but I must not be strong like them.

I am just so tired and frustrated. I love being a mom but I hate having to go to work all the time.

Thanks for letting me rant everyone! I might need some prayers to make it through Friday. Friday night I took VACATION so I will have a 3 day weekend! yay!

My ultra spendy week

November 18th, 2008 at 05:30 pm

This is turning into a very expensive week for me. The good news is that I didn't have to buy pants for E. Her best friend couldn't go to the concert so she let E. wear her brand new pants. They were one size too big but I "hemmed" them with some safety pins!

However,

I learned today I need to come up with $125 for pay to play fees for my daughters. They are both cheering for basketball. Ugh! Not the cheering part but the pay to play...and by Friday!! Luckily I get paid but this is going to throw me off a little.

The next expense is my hair appt. on Thursday. That is going to be around $75. Now, I know that sounds horrible but I am getting it cut and highlighted which I only do 3 times per year. If anyone could see my hair right now they would definitely agree I need it cut!

The third expense is smaller but an expense nonetheless. They girls have a dermatologist appt. and that is a total of $10 for the deductible. ($5 each) And the Dr. will most likely prescribe some kind of magic cream/lotion so that will be another $20-$40.

So, that is how my week is going. Probably $250 spent by Friday. $100 will have to come out of savings and the rest will come out of my pay on Friday.

I work 11-7 the night before Thanksgiving. (wednesday going into thursday) and I will get double time. Plus this is an EXTRA shift for me. So, December will be a pretty good month.

I'm off to work in a few hours...might have to take a nap!

Tuesday

November 18th, 2008 at 06:53 am

Well, here we woke up to a few inches of snow thanks to the great lakes. Normally we don't get that much lake effect but the weather people say that the winds were from the north and blew the snow inland.
I awoke at 6a to hear my youngest SCREAMING from upstairs that there was a 2 hour delay due to the weather. Those are some of the sweetest words that exist in my life: 2 hour delays and snowdays. They mean I can go back to bed and sleep. AHH...I LOVE sleep. One of my favorite activities!

I debated taking the gas guzzling truck to the school this am. I opted not to and put my faith in my Toyota. Kind of a bad idea. I had no problem going DOWN our road and the township/county/state routes (I have to drive all three to go 3 miles to the girls' school) were cleared and salted pretty well. No problem. Made it to school.

Well, I made it down the steep township road hill that leads to our private road (that was paved last summer) and gunned it to get up the hill. I made it about halfway and then my tires started spinning and I was swerving all over the place like an idiot. I made it up the hill BARELY. This is disheartning because this snow was NOTHING. Last year, when the drive was still gravel I would not have had this problem. This means I'm in deep trouble this winter. I will have to drive the gas guzzler each time there is a heavy snow if I want to get my kids to school and get to work.

For breakfast today I had eggs and toast...very yummy, they were "dippy" eggs! My goals for today are
1. sleeping (have to work tonight)
2. buying pair of black pants for E. (choir concert tonight)

That's pretty much it. On the grocery front we are doing well. I have very little food cash at this point (like $10) and I have $13 for gas. This should be fine until Friday when I get paid. The only thing I NEED is milk but M. will insist on coke too.

I need to call bank of america today so I can get my current balance...kind of excited! In the past month I paid over 1k to the stupid card!
Well, it's off to bed for me. Will probably get up around 1p and get ready for the busy evening.
Have a good Tuesday!

GOOD news/bad news

November 17th, 2008 at 08:20 am

Well I capitalized the good because it overshadows the bad. Let's start with the bad:

I figured out why my balance in checking was off. In October I made a transfer over the phone to take 350 out of savings and put it into checking. That didn't happen, instead, they transferred it OUT of checking and INTO savings. Well, our savings account was so whacked in October and I was so DISORGANIZED I completely missed it. Also, I made TWO online payments to Bank of America within 2 days and forgot to write one for 250 in my checking ledger.
SO...that means I have 600.00 less than I thought. OUCH.

Now, let's get to the GOOD news:
1. Bank of America balance is now 7,448.71 and as of midnight tonight will be 260.00 LESS thanks to yet another online payment I made yesterday! So that should bring it down to appx. 7188.00 plus interest to be applied next month!!

2.EVERY bill I have will be current by the end of this month and I should have about 100.00 left in checking!!

3. My checkbook is BALANCED!!

4. My online banking should be up and running by the end of this week.

WOW. This was hard to work through but I am so relieved it is all straightened out! I am also excited to know I paid so much to Bank of America and will still have money left over at the end of the month!

It has been less than a month since I started to get reorganized from my past 3 month mini-crisis and I feel like some huge burdens have been lifted. Yes, I am still in debt up to my ears and I the economy is still falling apart around me. But for now, in my own little economic world, life is ok.

To quote T.S. Eliot
"We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
will be to arrive where we started
and know the place for the first time."



I made a mistake!

November 17th, 2008 at 03:30 am

Trying to inhale/exhale this am. Received my banking statement on Sat. and it seems like I have nearly $200!! less in checking than I thought. I have been VIGILANT with my checking account! I have NO IDEA what happened. As soon as I take the girls to school I'm going to the bank to figure this mess out. Who knows...

I'm also turning in my application for online banking so hopefully this won't happen again. I'm trying not to be depressed, I mean if it was never there to begin with It's not like I actually "LOST" it. Still...depressing.

In other news this was a good weekend! We stuck to our meal plan and our only splurge was $9.88 at Walmart for vanilla ice cream, rootbeer, pretzels and two packs of gum. I had a 75 cent off coupon for the ice cream! My family has been addicted to ice cream sundaes lately and I'm craving root beer floats. We need to learn to control our cravings, but I'm pretty proud because in other weekends we would have blown through at least $100 going to movies/ out to eat.

I didn't even get a movie on pay per view!!!

It looks like we've got something of a spendy week ahead of us. I will have to buy E. a new outfit for her choir concert tomorrow night...has to be black pants or skirt and she has neither. And C. and I both have hair appt. We've not had our hair cut since middle of August and I've got shorter hair and I look a mess!!
In all, I'm looking at probably around $150. Add that to the lots of extra driving to a dermatology appt. an hour away and gymnastics 40 min from home ...sigh

Good news is I've been averaging 1.60 to 1.75 for gas using my discount card. Looks like, depite all the driving I will be at $30 spent on gas for 7 days. woo-hoo!!

Have not started Christmas shopping...at all! I have a bunch of coupons for bath and body so I'm going to go there this week...they sell the victoria's secret pink line and everyone in my extended family is addicted to that right now!


What I spent today

November 14th, 2008 at 06:42 pm

Ok. M. (husband) got paid today and I flew through A LOT of money. Yikes.

Here's a quick breakdown:

2,100 to checking

200.00 cash

45.00 savings #1

What I spent thus far:

325.00 home equity loan

187.11 groceries/household supplies

20.15 toilet kit at Lowes to fix leaking toilet

15.00 gas
Total spent:532.26

Balance in checking: 1723.66
balance in savings #1: 100.43
balance in savings #2: 387.62
balance in savings # 3: 26.73

I have to pay bills this weekend so that total in checking is going to drop...a lot! I spent a lot on groceries and supplies but this is for meals for the next 7 days, plus there is extra meat, lots of fruits, fresh vegetables, canned veggies and fruits, cereals, 2 dozen eggs, milk, snacks and 3 loaves of bread! We're good to go for awhile.

I got a ton of food! My freezer is busting and I think I did a pretty good job. The only splurge/impulse buy today was 11.45 on 2 half gallons of ice cream, peanuts, hot fudge, whipped cream and caramel topping.

We were in Lowe's and C. asked to go to Coldstone Creamery...well there were four of us so that would have been pretty pricey so M. suggested we buy our own stuff and make sundaes at home. We got a lot of stuff that will easily last us through next week until I get paid again so I don't feel too guilty about it. Hey, we saved a lot of money passing up Coldstone. It was a small victory.

For supper we had turkey patties, corn, noodles and onions and applesauce. M. didn't eat the turkey patty but he didn't complain either because he agreed to the "meal plan."

On another tangent, I am quite upset about something that happened to a close friend of mine. This person is transgendered (I'll call her R.) and she was riding in the back of another friends car and they got pulled over by a highway state trooper for a missing headlight. Well, turns out the new boyfriend of the girl driving the car had a warrant for his arrest regarding not paying fines or something like that.
However, not that I approve of that, but I don't understand why the trooper asked to see everyone's ID in the car, the warrant boy wasn't even driving! But anyway...
Warrant boy was asked to get out of the car and the state trooper pulled him aside (quite angrily I'm told) and yelled "What's wrong with your friend back there, is there something wrong with his head? Is he crazy?" (Trooper of course was referring to R.)

Well, warrant boy lost his temper with the trooper trying to defend R. and explain she was transgendered. The trooper ended up handcuffing warrant boy and taking him away. I think he might be getting charged with something else other than not paying fines but I'm not sure.

This is so disheartening to me. Why the hate? Why the anger? R. is a peaceful, wonderful, loving person. What gave this trooper the right to say she was "crazy?"

Wow, it just disgusts me the ignorance and hate of some people. I understand you don't have to agree with everyones lifestyle and choices but to be downright hateful and mean is ridiculous.

Well, that was my rant for now. I have to work tomorrow...sigh. Time for bed.

New debt total

November 14th, 2008 at 04:01 am

Well, I added our home equity to my sidebar. I had been toying with this off/on and decided it's a huge part of the reason we're in this MESS so I just need to add it up. The only debts I have not included are:
mortgage (about 209k)
student loan (about 9k)
car and truck (about 10k)
The reason I am not adding these debts is I consider them kinda sorta "good" debt. (isn't that an oxymoron? yeah...)

The mortgage is going to be there for awhile and we are not planning to move in the next 10 years. My student loan has a ridiculously low interest rate so it is the last debt I am worried about.

Now, the vehicles. Many would argue that is bad debt. Ok, it is/isn't. In a perfect world I would be wealthy and have no debt but that is not my reality. We will always need the cars if we are to work, etc... SO, these two loans are also at the bottom of the priority. Besides, my car will be paid off soon and that will be $250 I'll shuffle to the credit cards and $60 to the EF.

In other news, DH didn't get home until almost 12:30 am. He was flying out of Charlotte and the plane had been in air appx. 30 min. and had to turn back due to some mechanical problem. He said he wasn't scared but if that had been me up there I would have had an anxiety attack. I'm just glad he is ok. I don't think much about him flying because he does it so often but when things like this happen it makes me worry more.

He was upset last night because the dogs got into a garbage bag in the garage. oops, I forgot to close the door. There was garbage strewn from one end to the other and even out into the yard. It was NOT pretty. Hopefully his mood improves today. He is sleeping in. I had to get up 15 min. earlier than usual to french braid C's. hair. She has cheerleading pics today. The braiding went well and I could have slept another 15 min but oh well.

I am heading out soon to do the banking and my big shopping trip. It's going to be exciting to have food in the house! I will probably take a nap when I get home because I've only had 4 1/2 hours of sleep.

Accomplished tasks, fruitful day

November 13th, 2008 at 11:03 am

Didn't have to work today and I knocked off some chores on my list for the next couple days. Feels so good. Here it is:
1. Cleaned refrigerator
2. Cleaned pantry
3. Took food/supply inventory
4. Planned meals for next week
5. Made shopping list for tomorrow's excursion!
6. Scrubbed sink and counter tops
7. Took a nap

Ok, the nap part wasn't on the list but I worked my butt off cleaning that refrigerator and fighting with the remnants of melted popsicles on the bottom of my freezer courtesy of Hurricane Ike.
We live nowhere near the coast but we were the unlucky recipients of its windstorm that knocked our power off for 3 days.
Aside from the sticky mess, the freezer was the easiest because it had just been emptied from the hurricane. I had one minor science experiment in the frig, a plastic container of strawberries with beautiful gray fuzz adorning the top.

It got thrown away. The plastic container too. Sorry environment.

I scrubbed and organized (mostly scrubbed) from 7:30am til 10:30am. I then laid down for my quick siesta that turned into a 2 hour snooze. But, I've been nursing an off/on headache for a couple of days, (tension, sleep deprivation) so I NEEDED it.

This is turning into a long post so sorry but I need to mention one more thing. All the hours and heavy labor I put into organizing/cleaning every inch of my kitchen this summer came back to help me today. Household karma. It made it so easy to clean the pantry because I had my system set up. I can't tell you how happy I am I took at least a week this June to do this!

I'm certain I will go WAY over budget during tomorrow's shopping trip. I'm estimating just under $200.I'm going to take from savings #2. I have to buy dog food, garbage bags, and a TON of food and staples. We were really low on food. It was ridiculous. We lost all our meat from the storm and have eaten most of our pantry...well the contents anyway.

Ok, so that wasn't one more thing but I needed to add it.

So far this is a NSD but I'm heading to town after picking the girls up from school and buying three stamps. Not too shabby though! Tonight is soup and grilled cheese...yummy. (for real) I plan on tackling heaping piles of laundry the rest of the day and yelling at E. to clean up her room as I walked in it today and had to hold my nose...she has an empty container of yogurt on her nightstand along with some dirty dishes. (This explains why I washed so few glasses the last day or two) sigh...I am definitely not the worlds cleanest mom.

Have a good day all!



Thrift store money savings

November 12th, 2008 at 01:55 pm

Tonight is my daughter's fall sports award banquet and because of the amount of weight I have gained this past year my good black pants from the Limited are not zippable or buttonable! I have to wear something other than jeans tonight. My first inclination was to hit Walmart but I stopped myself and headed to the thrift store!

I walked out with $7.19 less than I came in with but it was a victory nonetheless...in more ways than one. First off, the obvious victory: my outfit!

Lambs wool gray cardigan with bead work on bottom= 2.00
Black Dress pants (I'm not saying the size): 2.75
Pink tank: 1.00

Grand total:5.75 (plus tax)

Nice. I also bought my eldest a scarf for 1.00 thus bringing my total to 7.19 So, that was my material victory.

On to the other victory. I guess one might call it emotional or spiritual? Not sure. As I was rummaging through the multiple racks of clothing I came across a Lands End tunic, a lavendar cable knit sweater, a navy button up, an Abercrombie shirt (for C) and a Limited sweater (for C.)
I could feel a high coming on. Epinephrine was spilling into my system and I could almost hear the waterfall of serotonin about to flood my brain. I had removed my coat and was holding the shirts up to me, trying them on.

But then I stopped.

I looked at the lavender sweater calling my name and asked myself, "Do I need this or do I want this." The answer of course, a resounding WANT. So I put them back. One by one they found their place once again among the racks, waiting hopefully for someone who NEEDED them.

This was my victory for today.

I am off work the rest of the week and have a large list of tasks I need to accomplish but tonight I am going to do a yoga tape, just to get back in the swing of working out.

Baby steps.

random thoughts/weekly review

November 11th, 2008 at 12:14 am

I'm on my lunch break at work right now. It is three am! I clocked in 45 minutes early to help another nurse so that will be some extra money!

I think I have done fairly well this week considering the unexpected $50 I spent Sunday. I will take that amount from my savings to get groceries but at least I am using cash and no credit like I would have if this situation arose in the past.

DH had to get tags for the cars today. (We have two small cars and a large truck that we drive if the weather is bad or to haul stuff.) We live in a VERY hilly place and without that gas guzzler I would not get to work in bad snow. We paid $133 for the tags and I had plenty in checking.

So, all in all this has been a good week. No credit cards, all cash! DH gets paid Friday and we will end the week with $25 in checking, $60 in savings #1 and a total of $414 in savings #2 and #3. Last week I ended with barely $12 in checking so I doubled the amount!!

Not too bad.

I have been thinking about how my credit cards got so high and the sad part is that really, we have nothing to show for it. So much of it was impulse buys and we did a lot of eating out.

Well, just some thoughts.
Sleep tight all and sweet dreams.

Christmas list!

November 10th, 2008 at 01:40 pm

Ok. My last two posts have been downers so I've decided to post my Christmas list of things I'm getting for my daughters.

C.
Abercrombie jeans
Sweater (from American Eagle or Hollister hopefully on sale)
2 or 3 tanks/camisoles
Victoria's Secret undies
Books
Makeup
Earrings
Necklace
Victoria's secret perfume
Pajamas
socks
slippers
thrift store finds

total: appx. $300

E.
Abercrombie jeans
sweater (Hollister/Aeropostale)
Tanks/Camis
Victoria's secret undies
Victoria's secret perfume
Books
Earrings
Necklace
Pajamas
socks
slippers
new pillow
Wi game

appx. $300

So, yeah I plan on spending around $600 for them. They are kind of spoiled but we don't frequent the mall or other clothing stores (other than thrift) often. The only time they get clothes are:
Back to school shopping
Christmas
Summer clothes shopping
special occasions (dances, choir concerts)
They already have ipods, cell phones, too many shoes/boots to count and they are wearing their winter coats from last year, so I think they will be happy with this list.
I plan on shopping the day after Thanksgiving and here and there throughout December looking for bargains.

OH! and I forgot to mention this will all be paid for IN CASH!

Kind of irritated (money related of course)

November 10th, 2008 at 11:14 am

I am kind of irritated with my husband. If anyone read my last post they know we spent 54.00 yesterday that I didn't prepare for in our budget. Now he wants 15.00 to get a haircut today. I don't understand why he can't wait until the end of the week when he gets paid.

I haven't got my hair cut for over 2 months now! Sorry to sound so negative. Also, we have propane heat which is very expensive IMO and he turned the heat up to 67 last night after I fell asleep. I am starting to feel like the heat nazi but we both agreed 65 at night and no more than 67 during the day. Personally, when he is not home I keep it at 65 in the day and 63 at night.

Well, that was just a quick rant. I will try to be more positive next time!

I spent too much today

November 9th, 2008 at 05:10 pm

Well, it was a good and bad day. We were at a cheerleading competition all day. C. and E. both placed 2nd in their divisions. We're all happy!

What I am NOT happy about is the money that was spent today! 14.00 at McDonalds, 20.00 to get INTO the competition, and this was a school event so I think that is crazy. 15.00 for a T-shirt and 5.00 on snacks. How much is that? 54.00!

Totally blew my budget for the week. I will have to dip into checking because I need at least 50.00 in groceries and at least 20.00 in gas to last me until Friday when DH gets paid. I am trying to find a bright spot in this whole mess but the only one I can find is that I know I will not use my credit card.

Yes, it will hurt to take money out of savings but at least it is cash!

We all had cereal for supper when we got home because we're all too exhausted to even think straight.

Hopefully the rest of the week goes according to plan. I'm going to try my best.

How I will pay off my credit cards

November 8th, 2008 at 12:15 pm

I have been reading up on the "snowball" effect related to reducing debt. That is pretty much how I plan on doing it but I've been rather haphazard. There were many times I could have paid off the gap card but applied larger sums to the two big cards because their high balances make me nervous. So, in the spirit of the approaching winter solstice I will set up a "snowball" budget. Here it is if anyone is interested. (It just REALLY helps me to write it down)

Gap: 50.00

Newegg: 50.00

Capital one: 100.00

Lowes: 175.00

Chase: 235.00

Bank of America: 250.00

Any extra money will go to the gap card. November and December are super tight for me because I played catchup this month and December is Christmas so savings will be minimal. BUT, I believe in January I will be able to pay gap in full so then I will transfer that balance to Newegg. By the time I get to Bank of America, I will be applying a minimum of 860.00 per month.

Wow. And these are all minimum amounts that I can easily pay. It still leaves me with breathing room in the budget. That means extra money will be applied to these accounts. How long will it take me to pay these in full? Not sure but in the next 12 months I hope to make a HEAVY dent in them.

I feel like I can breathe a little better. The last several weeks I have been suffering from a lot of stomach pain. I assumed I had gallbladder problems or an ulcer. The last few days since I have tackled this budget I have noticed the stomach aches are going away. I also have noticed I have more energy. My house still needs some organizing but I feel like I have cleared out a ton of mental clutter and anxiety that was torturing my brain daily- I am in the process of organizing my brain.

I still have debt but now I have a plan and, to steal from Robert Frost --that has made all the difference.,

Here is the poem in full:

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth; 5

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same, 10

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back. 15

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. 20




Pay day! Bills paid!

November 7th, 2008 at 01:44 pm

Yay! I got paid today!

pay= 1237.19

How it was distributed:
$1,000 to checking
$200 CASH
37.19 to savings #1

Here are the bills I paid:

Medical bill= 5.00 (account paid in full!)
Bank of America= 200.00 (balance= 7698.71)
Wells Fargo= 60.00 (balance= 983.00)
Car Insurance= 221.00
Overdue Rental Movie fee= 20.00
Electric= 45.00 (yes, 45.00! love it!)
Capital One= 25.00 (extra payment, bal.=2413.58)
Phone= 80.64

Current balance in checking after paying bills= 354.22

balance in savings #1= 109.90
savings #2= 387.62
savings #3= 26.73

Total in savings=524.25

Ok, the GREAT news of the day was that I found that 387.62 in savings #2. I hadn't checked my bank statements for a couple of months (my crisis) and thought I only had maybe 20.00 in there. So, to discover I have almost 400.00 has made my day.
Sure, I am still buried in debt but this will bring me closer to my goal.

I have to work tonight but if I have any down time I am going to work on meal planning for the coming week. Tomorrow, the girls and I are going shopping and my goal is to spend no more than 125.00 on food. This is a little higher than I normally want to spend but I need to restock some basics.

Also, my phone bill was high this month but next month it should drop to around 35.00 - 45.00 (depending on usage, my basic fee is 32.00) Also, my insurance renews in November and my payments have decreased to $156.00 per month.

S0, that means next month I will be saving appx. 80.00!!!!!

I plan on applying that to the dreaded credit cards. As far as the found money in savings today, well I am going to use 150.00 on it for the girls Christmas presents. I think I will be able to come up with another 700.00 for christmas by mid December. That brings me to 850.00 for Christmas. Not too bad.

We are having cheap frozen pizza for supper tonight. Not my favorite but better than starving!

Have a good Friday night everyone!

Small money update and thank yous

November 6th, 2008 at 04:19 pm

I am feeling much better after my little break down. I have a budget and I get paid tomorrow. Also, I cleaned the kitchen and found $.87 so after giving girls lunch money I have $1.80 left! I'll take that as a victory because I have not touched my credit card since early September...and I REFUSE to do so!

Tomorrow I am sitting down with my girls and we are going to make a menu for the next week, including snacks. Then they are going grocery shopping with me. We are not spending an arm and leg on junk food and I told them what snacks we do buy, they will have to last until next Friday when DH gets paid. I am shopping at Save a Lot for groceries (except not meat or fresh produce)

I rummaged thru the frig for food and for supper I made omelets with mozzarella cheese, green peppers, onions and ham. (minus ham for E. the vegetarian.) And we each had a piece of toast. So, we will live to see another day!

I have 3 more car payments after next week so that will be an extra $310 every month. Plus, we should receive several thousand back in taxes around Feb.

So that is the good news. If I can get through this November and December semi-intact and stay on a strict budget January should bring relief. But I want to say thank you for all who left such helpful comments after my last post. It means a lot to me. Thank you from the bottom of my cash strapped heart!

Bills are making my head explode!

November 6th, 2008 at 01:59 pm

Did I mention my recent sabbatical from reality the past 3 months?

It's kicking my a**.

I organized my bills for November and there are so many ones I need to make double on because I missed them last month. Plus there are late fees to take care of. I want to cry. I want to have a melt down. But instead I will take out my frustrations with these words and this blog. Acknowledging you have a problem is the first step right?

1. I have a problem.

Ok. Inhale. Exhale. The good news is that I am facing this financial mess and am attempting to get current on EVERYTHING.

The bad news is that...well just the entire situation. Christmas is coming and I have no idea how I am going to pay for it. This is horrible! Because of this effed up economy my husband will not be getting his bonus (was going to be $5000 before taxes) so I feel like I am about to suffocate.

Sorry I am ranting, it's either this or I get in my car, with my passport and American Express card and fly faraway. No, I wouldn't do that but I have a silly imagination. Plus, we have no money to pay AMEX.

One extremely small bright spot to my day is that my phone bill will be appx. $16 -$20 less per month because I downgraded plans.

That is it. Right now I literally have about $4.00 cash on me. I have 11.85 in checking and 72.71 in savings. I have another savings account but I think it only has like 10 or 20 in it.
We have a retirement account that is currently getting pummeled, ravaged and raped by the stock market. So, I feel like my head is going to explode. I am 33 years old and I am so ashamed of myself for letting this happen.

Inhale...exhale.
Will update tomorrow with exact figures/paycheck.

Please say a prayer for me and I will send prayers to all.

Exhausted

November 5th, 2008 at 12:41 pm

Wow. I am ELATED! The blisters on my feet were worth it and history has been made. I am exhausted and relieved.

This election has nearly made my head explode and I am so glad it is over!

I have done fairly well this week with money. I have not had to spend any money on gas since I still had $10 left on my grocery discount card from last week. I have not quite a half tank in my car and I get paid Friday morning so I'm good to go!

Gas in my area is done to 1.99!

In other news, DH is in Virginia today working but will be home tomorrow. I have a lot of cleaning to do since I have basically neglected most of the house the last few weeks due to being wrapped up in the election.

On Friday I will post my pay and what bills I am paying etc...
Everybody have a great day. I'm going to take a nap now!

What I spent today and Christmas musings

November 2nd, 2008 at 06:12 pm

Can of pop at work: 60 cents

That's it!
Tomorrow I am voluntering for my "guy" and knocking on doors/putting fliers on doors. On Tuesday, I'm helping people get to the polls. When I get home each day I plan to tackle the medical bills. All the bills are up to date until Thursday when I'll sit down and pay some.

My husband and I were talking about Christmas this year. C. and E. want clothes,books, makeup, "girlie" gifts, and E. wants a designer purse which I don't think is going to happen. I have never owned a purse that cost more than $50 my entire life so the idea of my 12 year old carrying around a $150-$200 handbag seems ludicrous. C. the eldest daughter is the more rational and thrifty one. Much less inclined to want designer. She loves thrift stores!

Speaking of the girls, E. (the 12 year old) has been a vegeterian since the end of July. I have to give her credit, I didn't think she would stick with it but she has. The only problem, which shouldn't be, is that we spend a little more in groceries. She eats a lot of boca burgers and food in that line which is quite pricey. I need to learn how to deal with tofu and such but I have not the slightest clue at this moment...another goal for December perhaps.

I will probably hit the thrift stores for Christmas pretty hard to find unique gifts. Our Christmas budget will be very limited with the bulk of it going toward C. and E.

I deal with this every year. Somehow the meaning of Christmas eludes our family and we get sucked into the materialistic consumerism that leaves me feeling shallow and spiritually empty. I would like this Christmas to be different. Perhaps that will be my goal.

My first pay for November is Friday. I will break down exactly what each cent is going toward later this week.

Sleep tight all!

Excited! To Vote!

November 2nd, 2008 at 03:24 am

It's early Sunday morning and I have to leave for work soon (work 7-3 today) but I feel posty and EXCITED to vote in 2 days!

I won't go into my politics but I am EXCITED to vote and I watch Rachel Madddow regularly so one might be able to infer my candidate is .... well, you know.

I am addicted to the polls and all the cable news channels, you could say I've developed a healthy obsession. Healthy in that after Tuesday I will resume my regular life and not hang on every word of every pundit and every poll!

Whoever your candidate is please go vote on Tuesday or Monday if you can. I have decided to wait until the 4th just because it's such a historic election and I want to feel a part of everything! I know this doesn't have much to do with money directly but indirectly it does. I feel confident in my candidate to help change this economy. I also am a strong believer in some sort of universal health care...I know I might get blasted for saying that but it's just how I feel.

Well everyone, have a good Sunday. I hope it is a day of rest for most...it will be for me after 3pm!

Remember to VOTE VOTE VOTE your heart and your dreams!

Money/shopping update

November 1st, 2008 at 03:06 pm

My daughter and I went shopping at our local thrift store. This is what we got:

Three button down shirts for me, total price= $5.00

Sweater vest for C: $4.00
Scarf for C: $1.00
Belt for C.: $.25

Total: $10.25

I recently received a small raise at work so now my paychecks are around $1,250 every 2 weeks. I work as a Registered Nurse so sometimes it is more if I pick up or work over but that is VERY rare. (I get paid hourly)
I work 32 hours a week.

My goals for November are as follows:
Clean out cupboards and do food inventory. (I did this in the summer and managed to stay pretty organized so this shouldn't take more than an hour.)

Plan out meals one week in advance and shop accordingly.

Go to save a lot for some groceries. (not meat or fresh produce.)

Clip Coupons and limit my spending to $175 per week. This includes groceries (100) gas (25) lunch money (20) allowances (20) with $10 left over. DH doesn't think this is realistic but I'm going to try really hard. I'll let you know how I do.

Call about all my medical bills that are in a big pile. (DH had $165,000 in surgeries this year, he is going to be fine and thanks to wonderful insurance we don't owe much but I need to get everything organized.)

C. is out on a date tonight so I'll be up until at least 11:30 (curfew) worrying. Thank God for cell phones! E. has friends over...again! That is another reason I fly through food, I feed what feels like hundreds of children every week. But it's worth it.

I am thankful for the extra hour of sleep I get tonight!

Next month I plan on adding some more goals related to money and health but this is all I can handle right now.

More later, have a blessed All Saints Day.