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Archive for December, 2008

5 teenage boys in the house and the food disappears!!

December 31st, 2008 at 10:27 am

It has been a while since my son has had all of his friends over. Last night he had 4 friends over. They got here around 10:00(and had eaten at McDonalds on the way). I woke up this morning and the basket that was full of an assortment of chips was empty! The bread was gone. The milk is low. Soda is gone. It looks like a thief came and only took the food! So I ventured out to the grocery store this morning.

Spent $88 at the grocery store. Not bad for me. I didn't do the binge shopping and only got the items that I knew we needed.

My Daughter is having her friends over tonight. Always interesting when there are a bunch of 11 year old girls in the house!

Hope everyone has a great NEW YEARS EVE!

Back to Work and Back on Track

December 29th, 2008 at 08:26 am

Getting up was really hard this morning, but I managed to do it. I am back at work, already dreaming of Thursday, which is another holiday and trying to figure out how I can stretch it. Might try to take either Wednesday or Friday off too.

I also have looked at my budget! YIKES! I picked probably the worst time of the year to start living by a budget. But I can do this. I have to make some massive changes(I thought it would be okay, but looking again, I realized that it is worse than I thought). So I am essentially starting over again. I am not sure how I got this far out of whack. I paid attention to everything I bought. I closely stuck to my Christmas budget. I must have mis calculated something. Not whining, just saying,not things can get out of control even whenyou are paying attention! But I am back on track now!

I have a new saving goal.(I will update sidebar later) My sister gave us a trip to florida for Christmas. 6 nights. She paid for the hotel and the rental car. We have to come up with the rest of the money(food, gas, tickets to parks). I have 4 one day tickets to disney left from the last time we went about 6 years ago. So that will help. We are making a plan this time. We are figuring out which parks we really want to visit and working around that. We won't be spending money for tickets to parks that we don't care about seeing.

Lost Remote!!!

December 27th, 2008 at 04:36 pm

We have lost the remote to the bedroom tv. Ordinarily that wouldn't be that big of deal because we could actually get up and change the channel. But since we have the new complex dish network where two tvs run off of one receiver, the tv is basically useless. There is no way to even get the information screen off of the tv!! So I spent the day catching up on the mound of laundry to make sure that it wasn't in there. It is possible that my daughter packed in her bag(due to a strange set of events) but I won't know for sure until tomorrow when she gets home.

DH went hunting this afternoon and my cell phone was dead. I had an extremely quiet afternoon! Rented a movie on ppv and took a nap! Perfect!!

I didn't leave the house today so I had a NSD!

Shopping with DH

December 26th, 2008 at 03:44 pm

We went to Home Depot today so that my DH could spend his gift cards. They were burning a hole in his pocket. He only spent $4 over the gift cards...excellent for him. We then went to Walmart and I spent less that $20 on only the items that was on my list. DH bought me several shirts and sweaters for my Christmas present. I was in desperate need. I have two sweaters that i wear and one is as old as my 11 year old daughter! It was a nice gift.

He also gave me some money toward the household. He has been out of work for a couple of months and just started working last week so I wasn't expecting it. (we keep our finances seperate) This really helps me out with the budget.

Totals for the day:

Gas - $10
Walmart - 19.02

total for the day 29.02

Thursday, December 25

December 25th, 2008 at 06:06 pm

Today was a very good day. My kids were very happy with their presents(as I knew they would be). Spent the afternoon playing monopoly with good friends and family. Had a blast. Kids went to their fathers until at least Saturday. Tomorrow will be a heavy cleaning and laundry day.

Today was a NSD! YEA! My husband took me to dinner at waffle house, but that didn't come out of my money. Hopefully tomorrow will be just as good.

Not so Jolly Christmas Update

December 24th, 2008 at 06:09 pm

This is not a financial post, but I have to vent.

We always spend Christmas Eve with my family. It is usually a boring time and I can't wait to get home because of the lack of activity. This Christmas Eve was especially memorable. We were there all of about 15 minutes before my brother threw his plate and said he was going home. He stopped long enough to yell at my husband and then his daughter had to take him home(because he lost his license for his, I don't know, 5th? dui). She drove him home yelling at him the whole way.

My dad was hovering really badly tonight. He was driving me crazy. And my sister was getting louder telling him to sit down and let others take care of things, which pissed my father off and he almost exploded. These were just a couple of the highlights of the day.

I lost my keys and spent a good 25 minutes looking for them. finally found them pushed up under the sink in the bathroom. good thing...I was fixing to start walking the 7 miles home in the thunderstorm.

Minus Bagels, Plus Croissants Plus Budget Update

December 23rd, 2008 at 08:38 am

Many of you know of my struggles when I first started here with my bagel in the morning. Well I have moved on to a new addiction. I found croissants in the bakery at the grocery store and I add some ham and swiss cheese and have a sandwich. Breakfast for under $2.50 a day. Gotta love it(especially compared to the $4+ I was spending a day!) Every little bit helps.

I thought I had tweaked my budget well enough to stay on track. But I discovered that I had entered the propane payment in the wrong account. So now I am scrambling to find $180 to cover that payment(I have found $150 so far). And that is just to cover that check. Hoefully I won't need too much gas this week, since starting tomorrow I am off until Monday. That is going to throw off my budget for next month. Bummer. I was hoping to make a dent in the credit cards with the extra pay check, but don't guess that will happen, as I will need it just to get back on track. But it looks like I will be back on track on the 16th. Just have to be vigilante until then.

Monday, December 21, 2008

December 22nd, 2008 at 06:03 pm

Today was a pretty good day spending. I had to get gas and I had to get lunch meat to keep at work for my lunches.

Grocery - 6.17
Gas - 22.75

Total Spending - 28.93

Still trying to avoid eating out and another issue

December 22nd, 2008 at 01:12 pm

My daughter had a violin performance yesterday. My husband and I were both starving afterward and although we were about 9 miles from home, in our previous spending life, we would have driven straight to the Hardee's across the street. However, we stuck it out and went home to eat. I realize that this may seem like the obvious thing for some of you, but not too long ago, I had troubles avoiding eating out for convenience, especially when I am with someone else. This was really a huge thing for me. I have found that my cravings for the fast food have died down too.

I am also having a hard time making the right decision on another issue. My best friend has MS and has not been able to work for quite some time. Her husband has been saving for Christmas and I thought it was all taken care of. She told me last night that although they have the big presents, they don't have any presents under the tree(oogling presents until Christmas is part of the fun for small children). Since I love her kids like my own, I am starting to feel guilty about the amount of money i spent on my children(which was a minimal amount this year). Well, not exactly feel guilty, but more like horrible that I can't help her kids more. My sisters have purchased quite a bit in addition to what I have purchased, so my kids each have more than a few presents under the tree. If my BF had told me earlier, I would have gone right out and purchased at least a couple of things per child to go under the tree. But now I have exhausted my Christmas budget...and if I do buy anything, it will seriously throw my regular budget out of whack, unless I can figure something else out. The old me wouldn't have cared. The new me is fighting a raging battle against the old me. For now the new me is winning.

Why does doing something right for myself also make me feel so bad?

Weekend Spending and Christmas Update

December 22nd, 2008 at 08:16 am

I finished my shopping this weekend! YEAH! I stayed within $50 of my budget as well! Another YEAH! My daughter has to finish up her shopping, and my son has to do his. But they both already have money for that.

Since I finished my shopping, this weekend was a spendy one. We spent $171 at Walmart. This looks really bad, but when I divided among the people we bought for(that was already budgeted) and the household items we bought, it really isn't that bad, especially since it had all been budgeted for! I went to the grocery store on Saturday and spent $123. I forgot that my children would be out of school and at home the next couple of weeks and they needed simple things to cook for lunch/breakfast. This wasn't planned, but usually I spend about $300 when I overspend at the Grocery store, so this is actually quite an accomplishment!

I had to make some minor adjustments to my budget, but it is still on track. I even managed to get some presents wrapped and under the tree yesterday!

Christmas Gift Received

December 19th, 2008 at 12:48 pm

My boss took me and the other girl out to lunch today. It was very nice. He gave us our gift. His wife gave us the nicely wrapped boxes and said "Gary doesn't like gift cards, so consider this gift a really nice gift card. If you don't like/want it you can take it back and get what you want." I thought this was really funny!

but the gift is perfect! They got us each a digital camcorder with the memory card to go with it! I am so excited! I was looking to buy one with my tax return in february, so this actually will save me money! I haven't had one in a long time so I havent been able to record my daughter's cheerleading competitions. This is really perfect!

Have I said that I really love my job and the people I work for/with?

Thursday December 18

December 19th, 2008 at 08:21 am

I haven't been good about writing daily spending logs, so I am trying to get back on board. If I bog, than it keeps me on track!
My daughter had her cheerleading Christmas Party last night. There was a sign on the door that the gym would be closed next week...i got excited,until I found out that she would still have practice!!(I don't mind my daughters activities,, but the gym is 30 minutes from our house and I don't get home until 8:45 on those nights). Oh well...we will be there.

She and I went to dinner at my friends restaurant(my standing Thursday night dinner date). I picked up dinner for husband and son as well. It was "kids eat free night" so I didn't do too badly.

Dinner - $26.

Total - $26

I really love my job(no sarcasm intended)

December 18th, 2008 at 01:05 pm

Okay...I have been emotionally absent for a couple of days. I have been stressing about making it through the week. But tomorrow if Friday, payday and I managed to make it. But because of my spending sprees that last few days(at the grocery store of all places!) I have managed to throw my budget completely off whack, fixable, but off whack. I think that when I don't blog about my spending that I don't tend to keep it in check. So I am back...going to have to start being a regular again.

The good news is that I just have two more items(headphones) to buy for Christmas and then stocking stuffers for my children. At least that is what I think now...seems people keep popping up that I forgot about.

More good news...my boss told me that I am the best person he has ever had in the position I hold. YEAH!! That is quite a compliment coming from him, not that he is an ogre to work for, but he has high expectations. He is also taking me and the other office girl out to lunch tomorrow...since I handle the finances, I know there is no bonus involved, but perhaps a nice present(he doesnt have cheap taste either!)

Cheerleading is a short practice tonight due to the Christmas party. Another YEAH! Working on bookmarks for daughter to give her teachers. Really worked very well, just more time consuming that I thought they would be.

Of Course it was a Dream...

December 16th, 2008 at 11:00 am

I had a dream last night that my sister gave me a check for $1100(as well as some other wierd things from childhood). Needless to say, I woke up to reality.

Well, I sucked it up and asked my mom to loan me the money until Friday. I know that isn't that long but it just kills me to have to do it! But it is done. No more worrying about it. Can't say that my mood has increased any...but hopefully it will be on its way up.

No Hits yet about the tables for sale(Other than the first call that didn't want it because I couldn't tell him who made it). Hopefully someone will call me about them this week.

I have registered for pinecone and mysurvey.com. Hopefully that will start producing a little income.

Working from Home and Socks Update

December 16th, 2008 at 08:07 am

Working from home today. I have to take my kids to Walmart this evening so they can purchase presents for people at school(with thier allowances of course) and since I work near Walmart, which is 30 miles away, I only wanted to drive there once today! I am fortunate to have a job that allows me the flexibility to do that.

Well, I have posted 2 tables and a larger longaberger basket on Craigs list. I have had one call on the table, but he ultimately didn't want it. Just waiting to see if someone else calls before I call my parents. Not sure what else to do. Have only had one call about the motorcycle...think it was a scam response.

On a more upbeat note...Socks is making improvements. His eye is not nearly as swollen and he is able to open it almost all the way. Hopefully he will be okay.

2 steps forward...3 steps back

December 15th, 2008 at 06:20 am

I don't know how I am going to make it through this week. If I don't get some money to put into my account, my checking account will be come overdrawn. In the past, I would simply ask my parents for the money who would gladly give it to me. But since I have "grown up" over the last couple of years, I have started to resent having to do that. We are not talking alot of money, but I needed gas on Friday and didn't realize my account was so low.

I had been doing so well...not eating out and budgeting for things. But today I m discouraged. I usually try to post something positive, some accomplishment. But I can't think of one today. I haven't eaten breakfast out in weeks and I still don't feel like it has made a difference.

Weekend and Christmas Update

December 14th, 2008 at 10:50 am

It moved quickly and didn't last that long. But I managed to not spend any money while there! My parents had given me money for gas and they bought dinner. So the only money I spent was the $3 over the $20 they gave me for gas. Enjoyable evening for little money.

One of our older dogs bit our new puppy(Socks) last night. The new puppy was trying to get his food. It was horrible! Socks' eye is swollen shut and he has a gash on his head! Called the vet and they said to watch him, but there really wasn't much they would do.

Went to church this morning for my daughters violin performance. It was the stangest church service I have been to...not strange as in wierd but as in the preacher didn't really preach. He spoke for about 15 minutes about joy and then it was done.

We got the house cleaned up today after church...and my husband is now working on laundry. Feel very productive so far...but I am avoiding our bedroom!

While I should be done with my Christmas shopping for my kids, I have it set in my mind to get my daughter another present. I should be done...she will have quite a few presents because my sister keeps buying things. So I am going to try to resist getting her a gift cert for a perm. I feel good about where I am with the kids and know they will have a good Christmas. Still have a few things to get for a few people, but those will be small items.

Still managing to stick to the budget. Haven't had to deviate too far from it. Might have to take Socks to the walkin in clinic tomorrow, but it is far less than the normal vet and shouldn't throw us too far off budget.

Going to the Symphony

December 12th, 2008 at 06:52 am

Let me start by saying that I have never been one to appreciate the "arts". My parents and my sister(17 years older than I) tried to instill this is in me, but it never quite go there. We went to plays every year...went to musuems, etc and I was always bored out of my mind!

Well, this sister bought my parents tickets to the symphony for Christmas. Only one problem...my parents are in the thier late 70's and do not feel comfortable driving to Atlanta and bank after dark(about a 2 hour drive). So I volunteered to drive them. My daughter also wants to attend as she has turned into quite the musician lately. So we are all loading up and heading to the big city this evening for a night of culture...except of course for my husband who tactfully declined.

Good news is that I won't have to spend any money. If we eat anything, my parents will buy it and they have already given me money for gas.

Thursday, December 11

December 12th, 2008 at 06:40 am

I have a standing dinner date on Thursday nights, but that is all the money I spent today! And I got the $100 refund from the doctors office!

Dinner - 9

Total - 9.00

Wednesday, December 10

December 11th, 2008 at 08:38 am

I am not including the Christmas money spent in this blog. I have budgeted for that(and am still under budget!)

We went to pick up a present at Bargain Barn last night. It was late when we left so I succombed to the lure of fast food again. But I don't feel bad about it this time. It feels different when you are out late and get something as opposed to just stopping on the way home because it is easier. I guess that is what I need to realize.

Gas - 21.00
Taco Bell - 13.11

Total - 34.11

Christmas Shopping Update

December 10th, 2008 at 04:37 pm

I finally got into the Christmas mood last night. We got our tree up(the skimpy little white tree), put the outside decorations up, and put out most of the accumulated decorations(at least the ones we are going to put out). So I am done as far as decorating.

We went tonight and got stepson's present. Picked up 2 things for daughter. So far, still under budget for each kid. My son is done, as he got a more expensive item. Christmas is still looking pretty good as far as the budget is concerned.

SS - 200
Daughter - 48

Total for today - $248.00

Tuesday, December 9

December 10th, 2008 at 07:27 am

Yesterday was a NSD for me! My husband spent $18 on gas...but that filled him up! Gotta love the cheaper gas prices!

Gas - 18.00

Total - 18.00

Power Bill on Time!!!!

December 9th, 2008 at 12:43 pm

Last week, I set up the power bill and phone bill through bill pay to be paid this week. I didn't have to change the payments! YEA! For the first time in a long time, the power is not in danger of being cut off. And the phone bill is current...haven't struggled as much with that but it feels good to have these things paid! I have to pay the cell phone bill(which isn't due until the 21st) and get propane(scheduled for the 19th). The power bill is still technically not on time, as it is due on the 1st, but I am within the 10 day grace. Same with the phone bill, due on the 8th. But they are both paid sooner that I have been able to in the past...and this is Christmas. Just imagine if I didn't have these extra expenses this month!! Things will be great from this point forward!!

Funny(or not so funny) Realization

December 9th, 2008 at 09:01 am

I was telling my best friend how I ate lunch out on Friday and then how my husband and I went out to dinner on Friday. We also went out to Dinner on Sunday. I spent $66 eating out this weekend. All of this was after almost 2 weeks of not eating out...not one single time! My best friend pointed out to me that I was like an alcholic...that one drink is never enough. I don't mean to offend anyone that suffers with alcholism, (this runs in my family so I know it is a serious issue) but I had never thought of my eating out or spending as an addiction. Both are an addiction, but I guess that I never thought of my spending addiction as being as serious as an alcholic addiction. Spending could end you up in the same place, though...no house, no possessions, and living on the street if you don't learn to curb your spending.

So I am back on the no eating out wagon. Starting today, no more eating out. None. Zero. Zilch.

My husband is coming to get my car...am tempted to go to lunch(as this is my addiction). But no...not going to do it! I refuse!

Monday, December 8

December 9th, 2008 at 06:14 am

Yesterday was a NSD! YEA! My husband took the kids to school so I was able to sleep late. Very Nice!

I beat temptation!!!

December 8th, 2008 at 07:16 am

Those who follow my blogs, know that I was tempted to purchase a tree at Lowe's this weekend. I beat that temptation(not going anywhere near lowes helped!) and didn't purchase the tree. I will use my skimpy white tree this year and next year I will be able to purchase a tree.


Sunday, December 7

December 8th, 2008 at 07:09 am

I seem to have fallen off the wagon as far as eating out goes. My daughter had a band performance yesterday and we went out eat afterward. Starting today, I am back on the wagon! No More Eating Out!

Dollar General 7.75
Mexican - 31.66

Total for the day - 39.41

Saturday, December 6

December 6th, 2008 at 05:18 pm

Happy Birthday to me! Yes today is my birthday and I have done absolutely nothing constructive! Daughter was in parade and then dinner with my parents. Nice day.

Spent $6.69 at Zaxbys for 1 sm Coke, 1 lg coke, lg coffee and 6 cookies while waiting for the parade to start. And while we were there, I filled up because their gas is .20 less than ours. I only had half a tank, but filled up anyway.

Zaxby's - 6.69
Gas - 11.00

Total - 17.69

Trying to Resist...

December 5th, 2008 at 05:27 pm

Okay...so I made the decision today that we wouldn't get a real tree. While I used to love having a real tree in the house...they have lost their appeal to me. I have a white skimpy tree that I will use...but wait...Lowes has marked all of their Christmas stuff down 50%. They have a beautiful tree for $99, normally $199. They only have a few left. I have this much in my savings(barely), but I am torn. I don't want to spend it but at the same time I keep telling myself that this is a great deal that I shouldn't let get by. This is how I get into trouble. I save a few bucks and than a "great deal" comes along...and most of the time it isn't a need, but a want.

So...I am sitting here at home trying to talk myself out of getting this tree tomorrow when we have to go right by Lowes(30 miles from my house). I don't need it. We will be fine without it. But why is it so hard to resist????

Friday, December 5

December 5th, 2008 at 04:51 pm

Well, I went a little overboard today. I bought cream cheese to take to work...but I keep leaving it in the fridge at home. So I stopped at Ingles to get cream cheese for my bagels. I haven't stopped for breakfast in a couple of weeks. GO ME! Then I did get lunch at Quiznos...I had never been there and had to go out at lunch. If I don't have to leave work, than I don't get tempted. With tomorrow being my Birthday, my husband and I decided to go out to dinner.

My son had a doctors appointment and I had to prepay for tickets to a band concert this weekend.

Ingles - 3.74
Quiznos - 6.50
Blue Jeans(dinner) - 30.74
Doctor - 40
Tickets - 13

Total - 93.98

Tomorrow will start my not eating out again.

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