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Archive for December, 2008

Much accomplished today!

December 30th, 2008 at 01:53 pm

The laundry room is CLEAN!
yay!
We did a lot of laundry, cleaned all the kitchen windows, took down the tree, PUT AWAY CLOTHES!
Among a few other things.

I feel so relieved. We still have a lot of mess to deal with but cleanliness is being restored to our abode.

We made an appointment for Edgar to get groomed on Friday so even the dog will be shining clean for the party!

In my three ring binder under home management I have January's cleaning schedule nearly complete. Let's just hope I can accomplish these chores.

So far, today is a NSD but M. will be going to town soon to get carpet cleaner and some other cleaning supplies that we absolutely need...like laundry detergent.

Well, this isn't the most riveting blog but it feels so good to write about what I have accomplished today!

I'm off for a nap now.

My journal

December 30th, 2008 at 07:28 am

This past summer, on my first quest to become organized with my money and organized in general, I took an old 3 ring binder, threw in some folders and used it to hold all my bills, grocery lists and my daughter's schedules/receipts from school.

It has evolved from there and I don't know what I would do without it!

The idea came from the website Organized Home. Now I use it to hold monthly calendars I printed out (for free!)In my "home management" section I list weekly and monthly "chores." I LOVE lists so this works out great for me.

I also use it for all my bills, master grocery list, meal planner and I have a section for C. and E. that holds schedules and other important papers to be dealt with.

It has helped to organize my life! My first section "planning" now lists all my 2009 goals!

_______________________________________

I have a lot of work to do this week to get ready for the party. My cousin is coming over today and we're going to get started. I have decided to take a box and hit my laundry room/bedroom and just throw away clothes. If they have laid in a pile for months then we really don't need them.

If they are clean I will donate them to save and serve but if not they are getting burned. This is the only way I can deal with this situation right now without losing my mind.

After I tackle the clothes I will focus on CLEANING the laundry room! It will be wonderful to have a clean laundry room!

So, that is the plan for today. I also work 11-7 tonight so I will have to plan for at least a 2 hour nap this evening.

This is going to be a busy week.

Happy Monday

December 29th, 2008 at 05:53 am

I keep thinking something is wrong. We have nothing to do. No appointments, no work, no games, no school. Yet, I feel this subtle jerk in my consciousness that says, "You're going to be late...the appointment can't be made up...etc..."

Am I so stressed out? I think maybe I am. I don't know how to relax. I love having nothing to do. It is wonderful. Of course, I need to clean but that is different than having to rush to events relying on the clock.

So that is my Monday. Sometime today I will get some groceries but there is no rush. Sometime I will start laundry but again, no rush.

______________________________________

In other news, I stumbled across Joel (?) Osteen on Larry King. Isn't he the pastor? I think but correct me if I am wrong. He was sitting there with his wife and they were both wearing these plastered on smiles and the wife's eyes were actually protrubing from either an overactive thyroid gland or the residual effects of being brainwashed.

But anyway...he actually said that while people should be frugal and responsible during this economic recession families who are still making the same amount of money they have in the past should still keep buying. They shouldn't stop buying things because that will just continue to worsen this crisis. Is he working for Visa?

Most people I know were spending more than they had coming in...I was!

Maybe this sudden wave of "frugality" isn't the result of a spending freeze but a general societal shift to stop relying on credit. What do you think?



Sunday

December 28th, 2008 at 02:54 am

Nothing was accomplished yesterday except me sleeping and working 8 hours. I left 30 min. early because I felt so hideous. I am hoping the fact I slept almost 15 hours (combined)will get me through the day.

The house is filthy and I have laundry up to my eyeballs. As soon as I get home from work I will be cleaning the kitchen, doing laundry and baking the bread my family has come to expect.

We also need to go grocery shopping so I gotta throw that in there.

ugh...I am tired already. The cold I thought I was getting has dissipated. Maybe all that sleep. Plan on paying my car today too! I totally forgot to pay it and it was due on December 26th. Luckily, no late fee yet!

Saturday blog

December 27th, 2008 at 09:53 am

I am TIRED today and feel like I am getting a cold. Unfortunately, I am at work until 3pm. It is 1p now so only 2 more hours! I will be outta here at 3 too. No staying over today.

I am supposed to go grocery shopping with hubby tonight but I might need a quick nap first. I also need to make sure to fit in 20 minutes on the wii.

Next Saturday is our big party. I have a lot of work to do. I also have to work 4 days in a row this coming week...I will have to get my cousin to help.!

Exercise

December 26th, 2008 at 07:16 pm

YAY! I just did my first 22 minutes of exercise on the wii fit!

This was E.'s present but I think the entire family will enjoy it. We had a great Christmas and I am not looking forward to going back to work tomorrow. Hopefully it will go fast!

I plan on trying to average 20 minutes of exercise each day. Maybe some days I will do 40 minutes or 60 minutes but I would like it to average out to 140 minutes a week. My first goal is to lose 10 lbs. by January 31st. This may seem excessive but the first month should be the easiest time to lose considering I have 40 lbs. to get rid!

I visited Pat Catan's and used my gift certificate to get a really cute basket, candle and reed diffuser. Then I went to Kohl's and used another gift certificate and got myself a purse that was $22, original price of $44. I no longer have to carry my daughter's old bookbag for a purse!

We also visited Bath and Body where I shelled out $37 of my own money for friend/cheerleading presents. I guess the cheerleaders are having a party and are supposed to bring $10 gifts to exchange IF they want to...of course E. wants to!

We also bought presents for 3 of her friends who gave her a gift. They are getting Pink.

I received many nice gifts for Christmas. My mom gave me money, gift certificates, a silver necklace and some candles, candleholders. I wasn't expecting that much.

I hope everyone out there had a great Christmas!

quick check in

December 26th, 2008 at 12:36 pm

Had a great christmas here. We are all having fun with the wii fit. Tonight we are heading to the mall, I hope it's not too busy!

One more day!

December 23rd, 2008 at 02:16 pm

Or night and then I am home with my family for three days! So happy! DH is off too. I have been enjoying a change in routine, no running to gymnstics, picking kids up from practice, games etc... It is nice to be removed from that frantic pace.

In the tax news: I have no idea if we are getting that money back. DH thinks his paystub is not correct. Who knows. sigh. If we don't get any back the good news is that DH is getting a bonus after all so we should still be on track to reduce our credit card debt by a lot.

That is my new definite goal and it is a big one. Even if we don't get the taxes back I still want to reduce our debt by 10k this coming year.

My cinnamon rolls are almost gone and I have ate so many sweets in the last 24 hours I may have to install an insulin pump. It is almost sickening. There are literally boxes of sugar cookies and trays of chocolates surrounding me at work. So hard to resist.

We got our propane tank filled today. Have not looked at the bill yet. Don't know if I want to.



2009 goals revisited...maybe

December 22nd, 2008 at 05:46 pm

Ok this will be the last time I blog today. Three times in a day is crazy but I am just really excited about the possible large tax refund! It is so hard to wait. I hate to get excited for it if it isn't true! However, I called up a friendly coworker who does taxes on the side and she told me that yes, I should be getting a refund that large because they taxed DH's bonus so heavily.

yay!

Well, IF this comes to pass (I am cynnical and pessimistic) I have some new goals in mind!

This will pay off all but about 12,000 of credit card debt.

I will put 500 into EF

In March, with my car paid off and braces paid in full we will have an extra 510.00 each month. This means we will be able to apply 1,300 each month to the last two cards!

And, we will have 1,300 left over on top of that so technically we can apply 2,600 to the cards each month! However, I will try to be saving some of that. (IF this actually happens.)

Dare I say that it is possible to be out of credit card debt by this July or August?

Never in a million years would I have thought we could go from having 21k in credit card debt and in 12 months have 0.
BUT, if this tax thing is for real and if our jobs stay intact there should be no reason we can't do this.

That means the next major debt is the 40k home equity loan. Then the 9k student loan and finally the 200k mortgage!

Well, it's a rough plan anyhow.

I baked more homemade bread and cinnamon rolls today. Going to take the cinnamon rolls to work for everybody. They are baking now and smell heavenly! I have got my children spoiled with homemade bread.

I bought almost 1 lb. of Red Star dry active yeast in bulk at an Amish store for 2.20! If any of you out there buy yeast at Walmart or the grocery store you know this is good. The puny little packets cost around 50 cents!

I am going to start shopping more at the bulk store.

DH is designing a kitchen island for us. He found one on ebay for 2500! Way too much. He thinks he can make it for maybe 500? Who knows though...he has never tried out a project like this. We won't do it until this summer...hopefully!

I might contact one of my close Amish friends growing up. He works in a woodshop now making furniture so just maybe he can give us some advice.

I am off to the shower and then to work.

Questions answered...I think

December 22nd, 2008 at 08:26 am

Well. I checked out the turbo tax calculator and the official IRS site calculator. They verified the results of the H&R block site...according to these calculations we will be receiving $9,000 back in taxes. I am stunned. I was expecting MAYBE 2,000. This is truly amazing.

I plugged in the numbers at these different sites at least 20 times but I absolutely will not believe it until the money is in my account. Still think it is too good to be true. I guess we will find out in February.

In other news, this is big news I have decided to share. We found out today, my daughter (age 14) has lupus. We have visited many specialists in the last 2 years for these vague complaints that have been just getting worse. Fatigue, joint pain, headaches, faint rashes, fingers and toes turning white,purple,red etc...

Finally, it seems we have an answer. This isn't a big shock. We knew over a month ago that a blood test (ANA) had come back very positive and that this was a strong indication of lupus. But today the rheumotologist finally said it.

On the way home, C. took a deep breath and said, "I am relieved. This isn't the worst thing that could happen to me. And we FINALLY know!" I agree wholeheartedly with her. I don't want her to have this but we will deal with it and go on with our lives.

I have to say though, that I am disappointed it took over 2 years to get to this diagnosis. I feel like we were dismissed so many times. And with me being a nurse and so insistant it seems it almost made the diagnosis come slower. So many times, I feel like our family Dr. thought I was overreacting and being a hypochondriac. He even went so far as to suggest C. was "depressed" and "just going through adolescence." and that I should "relax." He even put her on Prozac, though we stopped it after 2 months.

But we have an answer now so I won't waste time dwelling on the past. She had 19 labs checked today and we go back on January 2nd. I am guessing that is when they will prescribe some kind of medication.

Just going to breathe in and out slowly.

DH is away today but will return tonight. I am working tonight and tomorrow. Need to finish wrapping - I got a good start yesterday though!

A question

December 22nd, 2008 at 02:55 am

How accurate is H&R tax calculator in estimating your refund? I plugged in all my info. and I know it's accurate and it is telling me we are getting a 9k refund!!!

We have never received so much, but, M. got a bonus of 26,500 (not all at once, half at a time) and I was convinced at the time that we overpaid in taxes. Together with our state and federal income taxes we have paid almost 35k in taxes!

Does anyone out there have any info? Am I missing something, I took into account our mortgage interest, real estate taxes, student loan interest, charity, IRA contributions.

This seems too good to be true so that means it probably is!

Weekend Update

December 21st, 2008 at 07:49 am

We spent $130 for groceries/household supplies yesterday. This will be meals through next Friday plus certain staples.
I feel good about what I spent. My goal is to limit weekly groceries and household supplies to $125 so, not too shabby.

We are having ham, homemade mashed potatoes, green beans and homemade bread and cinnamon rolls today. I have never made cinnamon rolls before so wish me luck!

Last night we had a tasty supper:
Linguine with homemade alfredo sauce and boneless/skinless chicken breasts
marinated then blackened and seasoned with ground peppercorn and italian seasoning.
chopped broccoli mixed in.
ceasar salad.

No dessert! I had a moderate sized portion and no seconds. Had crystal light lemonade instead of pop.

DH has given up coke and has been drinking gallons of iced tea he makes every other day or so. Saves a lot of money! We did buy a two liter of coke, and Walmart brand lemon lime pop last night...I think it was 1.25 and 80 cents. That will be the only pop we will buy for the week.

I woke up at 5am because I went to bed at 8:30. I started to organize in preparation for our annual New Year's party. Mostly I sorted and threw A LOT of stuff away. I feel overwhelmed by it all. My laundry room is still a disaster and I might just have to go in there with a trash bag and throw away a bunch of stuff that has been laying on the floor forever and that obviously, we don't really need.

My house has to be spotless by January 3rd. (The day of the party...I have to work New years eve, boo.)

There is a wicked wind blowing today and I turned the heat up to 67. We have wood type blinds on our living room windows that face west but I need to break down and spend the money on fabric to make curtains. That will help keep the heat in even more.

I have been blogging since the end of October and my life has since started to become more and more organized. One thing I am learning is that it is a work in progress. Another thing I have realized is that, when you do things right, it takes time and lots of energy. I am getting there.
I will list what I have done well these past 2 months and then list what I still need to get to work on.

1. Definitely the grocery shopping and meal planning. I have done really well in this area and it saves time and money.

2. Organizing our finances. The budget is still getting revised every week but we are getting the hang of things. I know the amount of all my debts and have a plan to pay them off.

3. Place for my bills. I have a large three ring binder that I use to hold the bills and coupons, recipes I want to try and grocery lists. I also have a tablet where I write the bills down and everything I pay per month.

4. All cash Christmas. First time in my life...well, since having credit cards.

5. No going out to eat. I took the girls out to our fave restaurant in November during out Christmas shopping trip. Other than that, there have been no meals out other than very rare stops at Wendy's or Mcdonalds for ice cream/frostys or snack wraps. We haven't even ordered out for Pizza. We either make homemade or buy frozen.

6. My husband and I are working on this together.

7. Making savings a priority. May not be much yet, but I am doing it.

Now, let's move on to the things I need to improve.

1. Laundry. It is my nemesis. I hate folding and putting away. I need to get this under control and establish a good system.

2. Clutter. My house needs decluttered and organized. Enough said.

3. Cleaning my bedroom. I neglect this area because I think it doesn't matter because no one sees it. But I do and I want to make it clean, comfy and cozy.

4. Exercising. I weigh 166 lbs.

5. Getting my kids to clean their rooms. This is like pulling teeth.

So, I have made lots of progress and I still have lots to work on.




The Scale

December 20th, 2008 at 10:56 am

I got on the scale. I weigh 166 lbs.

I just want to cry. This is the heaviest I have ever been. I weigh more than my husband.

If I got my money situation under control then I should be able to do the weight right?

I guess I made it past the first scary step...facing the situation head on.

What I spent today: Nothing yet

What I ate today (so far):
small chocolate ice cream
couple handfuls of popcorn (healthy kind)
water
low calorie vegetable soup

$20/Weekend Goals

December 19th, 2008 at 06:35 pm

That is how much money we spent today. Went to C.'s game. $12 to get in the door and another $8 on food.

Speaking of food, I didn't eat very much today.
Cottage cheese
lettuce with french dressing
sugar cookie
frosting off another sugar cookie
a couple handfuls of popcorn
water
bottle of pepsi
sip of gatorade.

Not too bad as far as caloric intake but pretty bad nutritionally. But, I slept most of the day. I'm going to guess it was around 1,000 calories.

I have not got on the scale yet...I am too scared. I keep trying on my new size 12 pants and as long as they are as tight as they are I just cannot look at the scale.

Kind of like when my bills were out of control and I couldn't face the mail or my own checkbook.

I suppose I will have to eventually get on the scale but not today.

I have a lot of goals for this weekend. My top three are
1. EXERCISE!
2. Bake bread
3. Make weekly meal list and go shopping.

I also want to do laundry and clean around the house but the top three are my main goals. oops, I forgot wrapping! I'll have to get that done next week I guess. I usually end up wrapping the day or two before Christmas so this is nothing new.

Have to work tonight but then I am off for three days and I am also off the 24th, 25th and 26th! SO EXCITED!

Small update

December 18th, 2008 at 10:11 pm

I got paid today. After paying all my bills my grand total in savings is:

$422.10

Almost halfway to my 1,000 EF goal!

Of course, this doesn't really count because we have to pay DH's tires and Christmas, but hey, I am MUCH better off than I was 3 months ago!

losing weight

December 18th, 2008 at 03:19 pm

...is something I have to do. My size 12! pants I bought ONE MONTH ago are tight. Most of my life I have been a size 4-6 but in the last 3 years it seems I have been falling apart...I think it has to do with working night shift.

But yes, I have to lose weight. I cannot even look at myself in the mirror. Vanity aside, it is a major health issue. Diabetes runs in my family and as a nurse I am fully aware of the increased risk of many diseases I am subjecting myself to by being overweight. I weigh more than when I gave birth to my children.

Yesterday, a patient of mine died. They had just discharged her and she was so excited to get home. She walked out the door and sat down in the car and died. Just like that. Turned purple and died.

She was morbidly obese. She was diabetic. She could hardly walk because of her weight. She had so many health problems. I am guessing she had an embolism. Because she couldn't move well and was so overweight she probably had a blood clot that traveled to her lungs or heart.

Sad part is, I am not shocked at all. Not one bit.

This is why I need to lose weight. Being a size 12 is NOT acceptable when you are barely 5'3".

I dread getting on the scale. I have decided to join a gym. Beginning in January they run a 3 month biggest loser contest. I am entering. It is the only way I know that I have a serious shot at getting healthy.

I don't want to shell out 150.00 but do I want mega medical bills and a shortened life span because of the effects of being overweight?

I will not feel guilty spending this money.

Had to withdraw $15.00 out of savings today for food and copay for Dr. appt. Disappointing. The next two weeks I am going to try MUCH harder and be more careful with my spending so that I won't have to withdrawal money to get me to payday.

I am off for a quick nap and then it's time to go to work. Have a nice night everybody.

2009 goals again!

December 17th, 2008 at 12:49 pm

Our 2009 goals are starting to firm up. This weekend DH is ripping the carpet out of the walk in closet. We have decided to focus a lot of our efforts on our master bedroom/bathroom this year. We want to:

Replace all the flooring. *only if we have the cash available!

Tile in the bathroom and wood (or "wood" laminate) in the bedroom and closet.

Paint the walls and trim. I have picked out a pale blue and we will do the trim in white.

Buy new sheet set for our bed.

MAYBE a new comforter, depends on the money.

New bed pillows, throw pillows and curtains. I have made all the curtains in my home...some with the help of my MIL's sewing ability even though I CAN sew...just not as well as her. I have also made or re-covered all the throw pillows in our house.

I am excited to get started on this project. It will be nice when it is all done and I will definitely post some pics. Hopefully we can get it finished by summer, of course depending on the price!

I will treat this as a challenge to make it as budget wise as possible. Luckily I have a brilliant husband who can do anything so he will put in all the floors himself and all those crazy years of credit card spending mean we have a lot of tools already to do the work!

We have a store in a nearby town that sells discontinued tile and wood flooring so we will check that out first. The bathroom is fairly small so it shouldn't be too expensive.

___________________________________

Have not wrapped one present yet but I will do that this weekend. Tonight I am going to walmart to get wrapping supplies. I LOVE wrapping presents. I am that person that goes overboard and embellishes every package to the extreme. Such a great creative outlet.

Well, I announced to another nurse and an aide that I had applied for a prn hospital job so the rumor that I am quitting should be starting to circulate today. I'm NOT quitting.

What I have decided to do is keep my regular job and work one or two shifts a month at the hospital. If I like it and want to pick up more time I will and then drop my schedule at current job to 3 days a week. I should bring in an extra $250-$500 every month. This extra money will be how I will pay for my bedroom makeover plus keep paying down the credit cards.

I am excited. I need to get my brain running again. I love my current job but it is pretty easy and doesn't take a rocket scientist to do.

This is my third NSD! YES! I am going to walmart tonight but I am using my gift certificate so I am not going to count that...is that ok? Sure it is.

Forever 21!

December 16th, 2008 at 03:17 pm

I love this store but I am so mad at them right now!

Got my order in today, opened up the box and they didn't send two navi camisole's I bought for C. and E. These are Christmas presents that go specifically with the other clothes I bought them!!

I called their customer service and they are "doing an investigation." It will take "10 to 14 days." When I asked the representative if I would receive the cami's or get a refund on the AMEX all she said was "it is under investigation."

Luckily, these camisole's only cost 2.50 each but STILL! FRUSTRATION!

I guess I could drive an hour to the closest mall with a Forever 21 store but I REALLY don't want to and what is the guarantee they will have these two navy cami's in extra smalls???

Warning: DO NOT BUY ANYTHING EXPENSIVE ONLINE FROM FOREVER 21.

I guess we will see how it is handled in the next "10-14 days."

I am probably making too big a deal out of this but I think this is the "straw the broke the camel's back." Is that how it goes?

This time of year is too stressful for me. It gets dark TOO EARLY. And we are facing a major winter storm tonight and I have NO TRUCK because the tires are BALD and aren't scheduled to be changed until this Friday.

Sorry, I am not usually this grouchy and mean over 5.00.

I am going to inhale and exhale now.

Merry Christmas everybody.

Not working so much?

December 16th, 2008 at 11:16 am

I am wrestling with a decision. Should I reduce my working hours from 32 per week to 24 per week? Before you look at my debts and think I must be insane hear me out: I have the chance to work a prn job at another hospital where they pay around $28 per hour. The only thing is that there is no set schedule...which could be good or bad. Bad because the hours are not guaranteed and good because I can work when I want to...as much as I want to.

The problem with working per diem at the hospital won't be a lack of hours, there will be as much as I want, but a lack of the hours I prefer to work. I may have to work 3-11 occassionally. And that is a risk I don't know if I can take. Even though 90% of the time I will be able to pick up on nights it is not guaranteed.

What to do?

The idea of only having a set schedule of 3 days per week sounds like heaven! Because the hospital pays so much more I wouldn't have to pick up an extra day every week. I would pick up an extra 12 hours twice a month for sure and then if I needed the money I could pick up more.

A lot of this is psychological. I love not HAVING to go to work. Even though, technically, I will still have to work, I can DECIDE what days/hours.

Still, what scares me is giving away my 2 days a pay at my regular work. If I absolutely hate the hospital what if I can't get those 2 days back? I know that there are two RN's who are quitting by this summer but of course that is never a guarantee and they could easily hire somebody in. ARGH!

Another thing also, the hospital work is a lot more fast paced and sounds interesting as it is working with psychiatric patients. Plus did I mention it pays at least $28 per hour??

Of course another downside is that this hospital is 45-55 min. from my home. FAR.

So, I am just contemplating. I have no intentions of making radical changes any time soon. The hospital opportunity will always be there. I would wait until the end of January to do this anyway.

I don't know, maybe the grass isn't greener on the other side. Maybe there is a reason they pay so high. A not so good reason that they can't keep a full staff.

Well, I am glad I got that off my chest and onto er...not paper but screen. It is out there in the universe and not muddling up my brain. I will not make any hasty decisions that is for sure but it is nice to know I have this opportunity if I choose to take it.

________________________________________

I received a $25 Walmart gift certificate last night at the work party...forgot to mention. I will use it for food and probably $5 of it for wrapping paper and tape. I have some left from last year but probably not enough for everything.

SO far it is another NSD for me. Can't believe it. Two days in a row!

I won!

December 15th, 2008 at 06:03 pm

A poinsettia. At my company Christmas party. It is very pretty. I guess you would call it ivory. I would have preferred winning a weeks vacation but oh well.

The food was amazing and out of this world. All you could eat and I ate until i thought I would burst. Mashed potatoes, chicken, ham, green beans, noodles, rolls, pop and for dessert I had date pudding (heaven on earth) and a few bites of coconut cream pie.

I need to exercise!

The biggest prize they gave away was a lcd or plasma (something like that) large television. The woman who won it is worth close to one million dollars. If you ask me that is just wrong. Knowing her though, she will probably give it away of donate it to charity...she is a very nice person. I just felt bad because I sat with my friend ML. and I wanted her to win something like that.

ML. is the one that can't afford to get her kids anything this year for Christmas. I gave her the two pair of jeans for her daughter tonight plus another Hollister shirt and a 2.00 huggies coupon.

We had a blast. Her boyfriend is HILARIOUS. (Though very dirty sometimes!)
Our other friend R. who is transgendered woman, sat with us and I was kind of disappointed in a middle aged gentlemen at a neighboring table giving her the "evil eye." Maybe I am too sensitive about this. Anyway, we had a good time.

Today was a NSD! Amazingly. Just got to make it through Thursday. 3 more days.


Raise?!?!?!

December 15th, 2008 at 01:11 am

As another example as to how disorganized we were with our finances I have discovered that I have not accounted for DH's raise he received at least 6 months ago. It amounts to 251.00 per month increase!

This miss on my part further validates my complete ignorance and atrocious concept of budgeting. 251.00 per month is a lot of money in my world.

How did this happen?

DH receives one big pay every two weeks that includes his regular salary and his expenses. I was deducting his salary pre-raise and automatically transferring what was left (what I thought was all expenses) to his checking account to pay his AMEX.

Yes, he receives a paystub but we are both too stupid to pay close attention to it...yes we were that stupid. Amazing isn't it? Anyway, I think he must have somehow assumed that extra 125.00 per pay was his gas mileage. Also, we sometimes put personal expenses on AMEX so I think he thought maybe that money was for that?

Well, any "extra" he has been using to buy tools and things like that for his truck. Did he make an honest mistake? Absolutely. Some months his checking account was even overdrawn because we were charging so much to the AMEX and forgetting to budget for it.

Is this making sense?

Well, now that we are unraveling this tangled mess we call our finances, we are seeing so many things we never did in the past.

I am realizing that I never accounted for the girls lunches and all the misc. games we go to. Plus, DH's gas when he is home, and he has been working from home a lot more than he used to thus using more gas.

So, we now have 251.00 more every month to work into the budget!!! I almost screamed tonight when I realized it. DH and I worked for 2 long hours on our budget and I worked an extra 2 hours planning through March 2009. Of course, until March we will not truly feel the effects of this extra money because of paying for Christmas and his new tires which the money will come due on February 16th.

But after that... After that the braces will be paid off +200.00, the car will be paid off +310 and of course the +251.00

Total: 761.00

Nice. Major money to put to the credit cards. However, I will never count on any plan working out in this economy so I will just say lots of prayers!

______________________________________

I am continuing my long drawn out quest to organize the laundry/clothes. The girls are coming along well but I haven't really started for myself. Luckily, I don't have many clothes but I NEED to organized our walk in closet and that starts with ripping up the nasty pee carpet!

C.'s fingers are doing better. We find out if they are broken tomorrow. I have a feeling they might be. Luckily it isn't a bad break like an arm or leg, wrist or ankle!

We have ZERO grocery money for the week and I have 20.00 for the girls lunches. I That leaves me 2.00 short but I can scrounge for change. As far as food, we should be covered with what we have in the house until Wednesday. So that means finding money for two meals (Wed. and Thurs.) I have a free turkey gift certificate from work that I haven't cashed in yet so guess what we will be eating Wed. and Thur.! TURKEY!!

I now have about 300.00 on savings 1 but I DO NOT WANT TO TOUCH IT! Some of it will pay the Christmas AMEX bill anyway.

So, my big challenge for the week will be surviving with 10.00 gas money and nothing else. I have a full tank but have lots of driving this week and will definitely use the 10.00

Can I do this? We will see.

Weekend update/Work drama like a soap opera!

December 14th, 2008 at 02:24 pm

Just got off work though you can hardly call what I did today "work." It was very slow, I didn't even call the Dr. once. I did however, go online and print out some vegan receipes to make this week. I also clipped coupons from the sunday paper and made my meal plan and grocery list. I guess that is kind of rotten of me as an employee. BUT, I have days there that I don't ever get a break and run run run so I will try not to feel too guilty about today.

Tomorrow I have my company christmas dinner at a very yummy Amish restaurant where they serve family style (all you can eat) chicken, roast beef, mashed potatoes, noodles, dressing etc...along with pie for dessert. Unfortunately, we are only allowed to bring one guest. M. is having his brother and friend over to watch the Browns lose so I am taking C. E. said she didn't want to go. If they both wanted to go I was going to flip a coin!

Anyway, that means a free meal for me but M. is cooking a huge batch of beef vegetable soup. Half of it will be vegan with using the crumblers. I think we might have to eat it two days in a row because the grocery money is almost gone! I spent 90.00 yesterday and I bought too many snacks and also had to get a lot of household supplies like laundry detergent, soap, shampoo etc...plus the 20.00 cat food! We have to get special cat food because our one cat almost died from kidney stones a few years ago.

Sigh...once again it feels like we have to stretch our money to the point it might start shredding! What am I doing wrong? I budget 200.00 per week in cash to use for groceries, gas, lunch money and supplies. Is this not enough? How can it NOT be? jeez. I use coupons and shop sales but I still struggle every week.

I think having to spend almost 24.00 per week on the kids lunches might have a little to do with it. Plus, we have been spending about 20.00 per week to go to C. and E.'s games. I guess this has a lot to do with it. We are also making 2 suppers the majority of days because E. won't eat meat. M. and C. love meat so I feel stuck. I might start screaming soon!!

I am just FRUSTRATED! I would love for one week not to stress over MONEY.

Well, I guess that was my personal rant. At work there is a lot of drama occuring between 1st and 2nd shift. I normally work 3rd but I get report from the second shift RN and give report to the first shift LPN. They are NOT getting along. Most of the time I agree with the RN.

The LPN is MARRIED (though living seperate from husband and trying to complete a dissolution) and is dating our physician who is also the facility medical director.

They are not trying to hide things either. I like this LPN but things are getting out of control. She talks about their sex life loudly in front of everyone and brings in all the gifts he gives her like her 400.00 coach purse and EXTREMELY expensive Armani watch. But that is not the worst part. The worst part is that she tells me personal things about some of his patients at our local hospital.

Now, we live in a VERY small community where everyone knows everyone. She should NOT be telling me these things. Sometimes I try to change the subject really quick because she is basically breaking the law by telling me these things.

Well, since the Doc is her boyfriend and she is a rather new nurse anyway, she honestly thinks she runs our unit. As RN's both me and the 2nd shift nurse are technically her supervisors...but you would never know that. SHE runs the unit. Now, I really don't care too much because working at night we tend to do our own thing but it really bothers the other RN.

The latest thing LPN did was threaten two of the nursing assistants that work 2nd shift with termination and also made a derogatory remark about their nurse (the RN) She has absolutely no authority regarding their employment status. Also, I think it is really rude to demean another nurse in front of their aides.

So, you see, we have mega drama. And what I have just wrote about is the tip of the iceburg. What is hard is that I personally get along really well with both of these nurses. Yes, LPN does overstep her boundaries and is not acting professional right now but I can't help but like her. That doesn't mean I can't be irritated with her right? sigh...this is getting confusing.

Anyway, this post has run way too long. I think I will go to work and just do my job. And try to avoid all this drama. lol. Not really possible.



Quick Christmas story/update

December 13th, 2008 at 05:52 pm

I went through some of C.'s clothes and found two almost brand new pair of hollister jeans that are one size too big so I am going to be giving them to one of my work friends daughter. She is 12. My friend (M.) has no money to get christmas presents for her kids. She just got her electric turned back on and she is struggling to fill her propane tank.

It's a funny thing about the pants because just the other day M. was telling me that most of her daughter's jeans are way too small. I had kind of forgotten about it until I was organizing all my laundry this week. I came across those two pair of jeans buried in the back of C.'s closet. Good thing I have been working on organizing the clothes.

Today she called me at work and was crying because she got their share-a-christmas package (local charity event) and all it contained was food. Not that she wasn't grateful for that, she was, but she thought it would also have a gift certificate for presents for her kids or actual presents.

She feels so bad she doesn't have anything for them to unwrap. I told her about the pants and she is going to wrap them up for her. I paid $40 each for those jeans and C. wore one of them ONCE and the other less than 5 times because I bought them too big. I am so glad they are going to someone who will use them! I am sure this girl has never had a pair of Hollister jeans in her lifetime. I know they will be appreciated.

I would love to find some more things I can give her...hopefully tomorrow. I would also like to buy them something. We'll see.

__________________________________________


After work I cleaned the kitchen then went grocery shopping at Walmart. I spent 90.00 and had 3.90 coupon savings. My best deal was green giant vegetable steamers. Walmart had them on sale for 1.00 and I had a .50 off coupon so I got them for fifty cents!

I also had to get cat food (20.00) so that was pretty expensive. We purchase cat food around twice a month.

Actually, I just woke up from a nap and I think I might go to bed within the next hour. I don't know why but I have been overwhelmingly exhausted the last couple of days. I don't feel sick, no fever, cough or anything just TIRED. So tired my whole body feels weak. I wonder if I need my thyroid medicine adjusted?

C. had to get an xray today of her two fingers. We will know Monday if there are fractures. For now I taped them really good. I guess that's one good thing about me being a nurse. I can tape possibly fractured fingers. I was surprised the doctors office didn't send her home with some finger splints but DH took her so he didn't ask. I wrap the two fingers seperately then wrap them to each other to stay as straight and immobile as possible. They look a lot better today. Not near as swollen. Maybe they aren't broken.

Right now I am under one of my favorite quilts with Max the beagle at my side.

2009 goals

December 13th, 2008 at 06:16 am

2009 Goals
1. Build a $1,000 emergency fund

2. Pay off Gap, Newegg and Capital One

3. Plan meals every week

4. Get passports for the girls

5. Take a family vacation in June

6. Get a new sheet set for my bed

7. Have 5 nice bras that actually fit me

8. Get 4 new bed pillows

9. Put new floors in walk-in closet and master bedroom. (Rip out carpet and put down laminate)

10. Pay my bills on time!

Thought I would copy and paste this from my page just to make it more real. It is pretty simple and I think fairly "doable." The biggest one is probably the new floors in my bedroom. I blogged before that my cats peed on the walk in closet floor. I still need to rip that up! Since it is connected to the bedroom I think we will end up doing the entire bedroom. We have wood laminate in all the other bedrooms so we may as well put it in ours. I LOVE it in the other rooms. SO easy to take care of with animals!

It will be an expensive project but DH has done all the other rooms so other than the materials there will be no fee...just time. I can't wait to get it done.

I am at work now and get off at 3p. The day just can't go fast enough for me. When I get home I am going to clean and mop the kitchen and then I am going to have another relaxing lazy night! I have been having a lot of those lately!

pay day

December 12th, 2008 at 02:32 pm

M. got paid today. The mortgage is paid! I now have 266.00 in the emergency fund! Hopefully, I won't have to pull any out. I'm going to try real hard not to.

In other happy news, E. did her backhandspring on the mat by herself for the first time! I am so excited for her! Next step is getting the courage to do it on the gym floor for cheerleading. I can't wait!

Unfortunately, it looks like C. may have broken her finger last night. She fell doing a twist that she was not warmed up to do. It is swollen and very sore. We taped it and will visit the Dr. tomorrow morning.

I have two new pages in my sidebar. One is about savings and the other lists my 2009 goals. One of these is to build up a 1,000 emergency fund. I also would like to pay off 3 of my 6 credit cards. As soon as the braces and my car payment are gone I will have an extra 510.00 every month to devote to getting rid of those credit cards!

DH is one his way home from Chicago and it is snowy and cold here. E. has a friend over and they baked a chocolate cake. C. has a game tonight. It is over an hour away and I can't leave E. alone so I won't go. Plus, it is a little icy outside so I don't want to risk it. C. told me she didn't think she would be too emotionally traumatized if I didn't go tonight. (verbatim!)

I just took a 3.00 survey online. So far, I have 16.00 in survey money! yay!

Didn't do my weekly grocery shopping today. I haven't even showered. I just feel really tired and it is SO cold outside I just want to relax by the Christmas tree and watch movies. I will clean and shop and deal with reality tomorrow I guess. For now, I am going to enjoy a cozy Friday night at home.

Messy house

December 12th, 2008 at 01:41 am

My house is a mess. My disorganized state of being facilitates financial chaos. Right? I think it does. Where did I put the dentist bill that came in the mail yesterday? Not sure, I think the kitchen counter but it might still be in the car.

This is a problem and it is very hard for me to fix. Thankfully, (for the moment anyway) my home isn't too bad. I have been trying so hard to clean and get the laundry under control. I just wish I could snap my fingers and have a perfect house but I can't.

And there is that insidious expectation that follows me around in life and causes a lot of problems...perfection. I want everything to be perfect. I blogged about my disdain for confrontation. I think this is related to that.

When I look at my bedroom, I see a problem so insurmountable that instead of dealing with it I just shut the door. To clean the bedroom to my satisfaction would require inordinate amounts of time. Time that I do not have right now. But, my idea of cleaning probably differs from many others.

In my world cleaning the bedroom would mean moving all the furniture and vacuuming, cleaning floors. Wiping down all walls.(maybe painting) Washing windows inside and out. Washing curtains. Cleaning all dressers inside and out. Organizing every article of clothing per color/season/function. Having a perfectly made up bed with too many fancy pillows.

So, I envision that kind of cleaning and no wonder my head spins. How about I go and just pick up, make the bed and sweep. That would be a good start wouldn't it?

Maybe that needs to be my goal. Clean my bedroom and give myself a break. Things can't be perfect.

It must be some kind of Amish curse. I grew up among them and boy can they clean. I KNOW how to clean from them. BUT, they don't work outside the home and they have large nuclear families that pitch in and get all the work done in one day. I have plain old me.

I think my goal is to clean my bedroom not like an amish person but like a rational person. I would like to free up some mental energy and not have to worry about strangers sneaking into my bedroom and passing out.

I am not perfect. I am an estranged Lutheran who grew up with too many clean Amish women.


I did it!

December 10th, 2008 at 05:47 pm

You will all be happy to know I went to another basketball game tonight. For E. I sat with DH for the 7th grade game but he had to leave so I was by myself for the 8th grade game. I made myself a little more presentable tonight and actually spoke to people. This is progress. I remembered what you told me...most people are there for their kids and aren't really paying attention to anything else.

I agree for the most part. Although, I did notice a woman on the husky side with a lot of her white thong showing.

But anyway.

Spent 8.00 at the game for tickets, program, hot dog, popcorn and gatorade. DH spent another 20.00 on dog food and 20.00 on gas. The money just keeps flying out it seems!

DH gets paid Friday and I have to remember to send the mortgage payment that is due on the 16th by tomorrow. This pay will go for the mortgage payment, equity loan and two misc. medical balances I need to pay off.

DH leaves for Chicago tomorrow morning. He is driving and it is around a 6 1/2 to 7 hour drive...but he drives fast. I don't know why he doesn't fly. My theory is that he gets a lot of gas mileage money and then he keeps what he doesn't use for gas and it is his play money. (For his big toy the truck )That is fine. He deserves it. He works his a** off. Yesterday was a 14 hour day for him.

Made tacos tonight. Used crumblers instead of hamburg so that was a lot more healthy than usual. Thanks to E. we eat healthier than we used to. I just wish it would start showing on my body!

C. asked me for a new pair of jeans tonight. She has 5 pair and one is kind of old. I am thinking about it. She is getting another pair for Christmas but jeans are a wardrobe staple. Who knows, maybe I am just rationalizing because it is a part of our clothes addiction. I am going to take a deep breath and think about it. If she gets them it won't be until Christmas break. In fact, maybe I will have her use part of her Christmas money to pay for them...that is fair right?

I am the middle of laundry hell. Piles of clothes abound like the appalachian foothills throughout my home! So far I have washed 6 loads and put away 5. #6 is in the dryer and #7 just got put in the washer. C. and E. both exclaimed, "We have clothes again! Underwear and socks!"

Tomorrow will be another busy day of errands, picking up prescriptions and going to the post office. In the evening is gymnastics. Oh well. I am off work so it's ok!

Have a good night everyone!!

By the way...

December 9th, 2008 at 09:13 pm

I went to C.'s game. She is a freshman and cheers JV so I left at halftime of the varsity game. She never ended up needing any money and I felt self conscious. Of course, I had to see people I knew in highschool. My old Cheerleading coach, my old superintendent, teacher and another old friend.

They ALL stopped to talk to me and I couldn't have looked much worse. I had no makeup on. My hair had gotten wet from the rain walking into the school and I had on a very wrinkled (but clean) top. I was wearing thick white work socks that stuck out of my brown leather shoes like they were infused with radium!

But I did it! AND I was the only cheerleading mom (of the JV cheerleaders) that showed up! How sad! For real though, I have a lot of social anxiety. Sometimes I wonder if I have an actual disorder because I can actually feel my blood pressure rise and my stomach flip flop at the thought of being in a large crowd by myself.

But I shall acquiesce from these self-centered ramblings.

The JV got pummeled and the varsity lost by two points. A boy from our highschool got into trouble for drinking alcohol in the stands. Talk about representing your school.

I was really disappointed when two of the other sides cheerleaders came out and did a tumbling pass consisting of round-off double backhandspring tuck. The opposing student section went wild and started chanting (toward our student section) "You can't do that, you can't do that."

C. could do that kind of tumbling pass in her sleep and she actually did a round-off 5 backhandsprings back layout and an aerial during the jv game. But this was during the varsity game so she couldn't go back on the floor! I wish she would have done her full twist!!

Yikes, I get too competitive at times!

Well, I had to spend 6.00 to get into the game tonight but you know I didn't spend any money at the concession stand because I was glued to my seat lest I expose myself unnecessarily to even more people I hadn't seen in 10 years or so!

So much guilt

December 9th, 2008 at 03:12 pm

I feel guilty right now. I told C. we would come to her game tonight but we didn't go. It was an away basketball game. (she is a cheerleader) It was only 20 minutes away. I should have gone.

But, I didn't want to go by myself. M. is in the middle of an emergency with work and is still in his office. Hasn't even had time to take a shower today.

The main reason for not going?

I feel self-conscious going by myself, sitting by myself. I feel like a troll. Like a fat troll.

So now I am on the verge of tears because C. is by herself and I know she will be hungry and I didn't give her money for a snack. I feel like the world's worst mom right now.

Maybe I should just leave now. Hmmm..

I am way too emotional!

I made 2 casseroles tonight. A regular sized tator tot casserole with hamburg and a small tator tot with crumblers. (vegetarian meat sub) for E.

Gotta work tonight. I have plenty of time to sulk until then...and feel guilty.

It's 3am

December 9th, 2008 at 12:18 am

And I am at work. On my lunch break of course...wouldn't want to waste company time.

It is a slow night tonight. Only 10 patients and they are all sleeping well. I am antsy about all the money I have spent recently but as long as I stay on track it should be alright.

I'm looking forward to my 3 days off. There is so much I want to do around the house. Of course there is no appt. to get to this week...I seem to only schedule those when I'm nearly comatose from sleep deprivation.

M. is headed to Chicago on Thursday and Friday. I'm going to miss him. I have finally gotten used to him being at home and now I don't want him to leave! Irony.
Just last week he was driving me crazy.

I have come up with a list of some things I need to get in the near future. These aren't exactly needs or wants...they exist somewhere in the nether regions I guess.

1. 2 bras (for myself)
2. 3 pair underwear
3. New queen sheet set for my bed.
4. 4 new bed pillows. (one for each member of the family. And then I will throw away 4 older ones.)
5. New pair of jeans (I have one pair that are way too big.)

Those are my top five for now. Of course I could name more things but these items are venturing closer to the needs list at the moment. Maybe each week I will get one item that way it won't seem like I am spending so much!


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