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Archive for January, 2007

So I guess we're going tomorrow...

January 31st, 2007 at 12:15 pm

I was supposed to meet a friend for lunch/dinner on my break between classes today, but it seems she got held up and wants to reschedule for tomorrow. That's fine, except I didn't bring anything for dinner. ugh. So I'll be buying something cheap, I suppose. Maybe some fast food, as much as I dont want to eat more of it this week. It's just the cheapest option, I think. We'll see. The good news is that I'll get more homework done, assuming I'll pull myself away from this machine Smile

Work last night was pretty awful. I only made $9. One table the entire night... not so hot. I guess you win some, you lose some. I need to go to the bank, though, and withdraw a little money from my savings, however, because I put all my money toward my student loans the other day. I only have a little cash :P

I'm looking forward to this weekend. I'm leaving for my parents' house on friday afternoon. I'm excited to visit the family, and spend some quality time with my mom. It'll be nice to get away. Unfortunately, however, I'm taking 2 days off to do this, so I'll be a bit pinched for cash. Ah well. I've got my cushion. I'll be fine for the first week.

I'm trying not to spend as much on groceries this month. I have a bad habit. I need to finish what's in my apartment. I'd go back home to eat dinner today, but honestly it's just too darn cold and I already walked one way today. Once again, I'll also get more work done this way. At any rate, I better get going or all that homework I've been talking about will never get done! Everyone have a great day!

$20 challenge and other adventures

January 30th, 2007 at 02:35 pm

So I must make this quick...

I took my biscotti to the coffee shop today. 70 peices this time. He gave me $35. I'm taking half of it to the challenge. I also got my first check ever from a survey company. $4 for one survey aint bad...

Today thus far has been a no-spend day. I went to the bank to deposit my challenge money as well as some money I've made over the last couple days. I got the bank fees taken care of on my account. Things are finally getting back to normal... after I got home, I transferred my challenge money to my emigrant account... so that should go through tomorrow. I also paid $175 toward my student loan/interest.

So I'm back down to having no expendable money until tonight after work. Let's hope it's busy! I'm going to lunch/dinner with a friend tomorrow. That should be fun. I'm going to attempt to make it low-cost. We're both pretty tight on the budget as it is, so I'm sure it wont be a problem Smile At any rate, everyone have a great night!

Challenge Total: $127.78

Recap and today!

January 29th, 2007 at 06:00 am

Alright. So I spent a little more on dining out than I had originally planned. BF wanted to get food at like, 1:00 am the other night and I was feeling particularly giving. We've been going through some stressful times in our relationship and lives in general. Besides. I love those spontaneous "let's go out in the middle of the night" happenings, and they've been far less frequent lately. So we hit up Steak n Shake and talked, and I had a delicious frozen yogurt milk shake... mmm.

Then yesterday I spent ALL DAY baking biscotti. 3 batches for the coffee shop and one for my friends/family. I told my best friend I would make him something, and I'll be seeing my family out in Columbus for the first time in a while this weekend. I thought it would be a nice gesture. So needless to say, I wasn't looking to cook after all that baking. So we went to our favorite restaurant (well, one of!) and I got a bowl of soup, BF got an appetizer, and we both got tea. I spent about $15. The good news is that I didn't buy any clothes all month, and bought less food on campus than anticipated. My budget can hold it.

Today I was planning to be a no-spend, but as it turns out, my dasani bottle is missing, and I need to have my water during the day :/ The first psych club meeting is today before I go to work, and there will be free pop and pizza! Woo! At any rate, I better get moving. Dont want to be late!

On the house...

January 27th, 2007 at 12:14 pm

...an expression that I like to hear!

Yesterday I worked my double, and despite the fact it was FRIDAY, the restaurant was dead. I got to leave early. A girl BF met in one of his classes works at this restaurant that we really like downtown. It's more than a little pricey, but BF got gift certificates from my boss for designing a flyer for Kiku (the restaurant I work at). We called up his friend and it turns out that she had just got cut as well, so she decided to stay and have a couple of drinks with me, BF, and her boyfriend as well.

Me and BF got food while our new friends just drank. We all had a few cocktails. I'm sure the bill was a bit hefty. But as it turns out, Julie's boyfriend is a supervisor/manager at the hotel next door, and he was able to "put it on the house." I felt a bit strange letting these people I just met pay for my food and booze, but he insisted, and it was the hotel that was paying for it anyhow. So I got a meal and wonderful conversation for free Smile I have to say we lucked out... especially since we still have our gift certificates.

Today I was supposed to make more biscotti, but I still need some more supplies, and consequently, I need BF to drive me to the store. It's really cold out, and the store further away has better prices. So I may be grocery shopping today and baking tomorrow.

I did, however, manage to update my finances. I had forgotten a few things, and I'm still wondering where about $30 has gone, but at any rate, we're up to date. My challenge money has almost hit $100, and that's pretty exciting. It's only been a month! I cant believe the month is almost over as well... it seems it flew by. I've got enough put aside to pay the bills and whatnot, though. After tonight, monday, and tuesday, I feel I'll be entirely prepared for February.

I got a freebie in the mail. Celestial Seasonings tea and zinger... I'll have to see how that goes. I love tea... haven't been drinking nearly enough of it. At work I try to drink a lot of green tea because it's free and it's good for me. But I've also been trying not to run to the vending machine. Yesterday I decided instead of buying sweets that I would just make a pot of coffee, and make myself a "froo frroo coffee drink": sweetener, coffee, cream, chocolate syrup, with a little whipped cream on top. Luckily we have all these things at the restaurant. It made my stomach hurt from the sugar, but at least it kept me from buying/eating anything else! hehe.

BF is still asleep... yes, at 3:13 pm. He's gotten on this funky sleeping schedule again. Makes things difficult to schedule. At any rate, I better get going. I think I'm going to wake him up...

They got her!

January 26th, 2007 at 12:52 pm

That's right. I got a call from the detectives yesterday and they caught my mugger! I'll be appearing in court on Feb. 1st to testify and whatnot. I'm pretty happy about that. Let's hope she goes for a good long time...

In other news, I have none. Haha. I'm trying to make today a no-spend day. It's my double at work. I know I'm gonna want to run to the vending machine later, but I'm going to try and practice some restraint. Last night, me and BF got a pizza and I got a small tub of ice cream. Not good for my wallet or my diet, but that little splurge was entirely worth it. I've been having a rough time lately. Things just kind of fell apart yesterday.

At any rate, I'm trying to get back on track and prepared for February. I'm taking a night off to go with my mom to visit family out of state. That'll be nice. I need to get away for a bit, even if it's just a weekend (and with my mother!). hehe.

I better get going, though. My break ends in about 10 minutes. Later, everyone!

More biscotti!

January 24th, 2007 at 06:14 pm

So I got a call from the coffeeshop owner today... all the biscotti I gave him (40 pc) is gone! He called to order 60 more pieces. I guess everyone loved it! That's pretty exciting, and he couldn't have had better timing because I'll have plenty of time tomorrow to do some baking. I dont have a class until 6:00pm and BF will be at class the better part of the day. So baking and homework it will be! Not sure what kinds to make, and I really need to hit the store. I could use more nuts and eggs. Nuts are where the majority of the money is spent... last time I made pistachio biscotti, too. BF's favorite Smile The cranberry orange is pretty good as well. I was thinking about making chocolate biscotti this time, but I'm still up in the air. I'm not sure how it will turn out as I use the same recipe for every kind I make, I just change what goes into it. The texture is perfect and I dont want to mess with that... we'll see though. At any rate, there's a few extra bucks I'll make! And of course, adding it to the challenge... This month seems to be pretty profitable afterall!

I bought some food on campus today, but only about $3 worth. Pretty good for 2 weeks. I didn't want to go home to eat because it was snowing pretty hard and I didn't feel like walking to my apartment and back. Talked to my mom for a bit about a bunch of things. We'll be paying a visit to my Great Grandmother some time in February, which will be nice. I haven't seen her in ages and it seems that she's really excited. I'll have to bring her something tasty Smile She's a great cook, as many housewives were back in the 50's. It's amazing how the times have changed... At any rate, I'm pretty excited right now. I've had 2 great weeks of class, and my business ventures are picking up! Woo!

$20 challenge and goal checkpoint

January 23rd, 2007 at 11:56 am

Yesterday was a no-spend day, which not only means that I'm adding $1 to my challenge money, but that I've reached 7 no-spend days for the month.

I've hit my goal!!!

I think that's pretty exciting! Today is a planned no-spend day as well. I'm off school, and work at 6:00. I'll be eating in and doing homework in the mean time. I'm sure I have plenty I could make for dinner. I'm incredibly proud of myself as I look over my budget and the money I've spent this month. Most of it was on groceries... but that was more or less because of this biscotti endeavour I've started. I haven't spent any money on clothes or food on campus. Granted, I've only had 3 days of class, but still! I went out to eat the other night, and that was unplanned, but other than that, I've stayed on budget with my dining out. And we only ate out 3 times this month as well. Not too shabby.

I'm going to come up short on my "pay myself" bill, but only because I had to buy all those books that gift cards would have otherwise paid for... if they hadn't been stolen. Overall I've done really well this month. I'm starting out 2007 right!

Challenge total $92.51
+ No-spend day $1.00
+ Change from work $0.30
New Challenge total $93.81

My challenge money is growing!!! I've almost got enough for that plane ticket to Orlando that I'll need to be buying here in the next couple of months. I've got a lot in the way of vacations planned this year (which is great because I haven't gone on vacation in years). I'm visiting my friend who lives in Orlando... I met him the last time I went on vacation many a year ago and we've been great friends since. And me and BF are taking a trip across the country. So there will be much expenses in the way of gas and such.

The tenative plan is to stop in Missouri and stay with a friend of his. Then, his friend will be coming with us to the Grand Canyon. Then we'll be driving to stay with my friend who moved to Arizona just after I moved to Pittsburgh, then we'll be driving to San Diego to visit our friend that just moved there for work. There has been talk of stopping in Denver because I've never been there and I'd love to see it. My brother lives out there, but we cant stay with him because I'm not on speaking terms with my father (we haven't been for years). It's tempting though, a free place to stay and all...

I'm taking 2 weeks off of work during the summer for the road trip. Florida will only be for a few days during the week, so it shouldn't be a big deal. I'm totally psyched, though. The furthest west I've ever been was Indiana, and that was only for 2 hours! I'm looking forward to seeing what the other side of the country has to offer! Just a lot of money to save up. I've decided that part of my tax return (assuming I'll be getting money back) is going to be put into my challenge money, and consequently will be used for my vacation(s). I cant wait until summer! Eeek! Smile

2nd week of school and I'm lovin it.

January 22nd, 2007 at 12:53 pm

So it was the second day of class and things are going oh-so-smoothly... except I got up way too late this morning and ended up 10 min late for the first one. But at least I got there! And didn't really miss anything in the long run Smile At any rate, I threw a few things in my bag to eat in between classes, and then walked home afterwards. I ate my leftover curry from the thai restaurant last night. Yes, I had a splurge last night (ah, to think that $30 is a splurge). But me and BF wanted to go out... sundays are my only nights off. And after all the good news that's come up in the last week, I thought it appropriate to celebrate. Besides, I haven't bought any clothes all month, so I have a little extra cash for the month anyway.

I've got work in about an hour or so. I may stop off at the coffee shop on the way to see how things are going with the biscotti and cake, which is currently in thier case. Hopefully it's selling... that would be pretty cool.

I clipped coupons yesterday, and I'll be going shopping then later this week. I didn't find as much stuff as I did last week, but some energy bars for $0.50 each is pretty good, and I eat them at school. They're quick and I only really have 10 minutes to eat. I grabbed one on the way out the door this morning to eat as breakfast too Smile Target's got my favorite ones on sale, so I might have to stop there.

At any rate, I better get going. I've got a couple things to get done before I have to leave. Have a good day, everyone!

And it's done!

January 20th, 2007 at 11:40 pm

So I spent some time baking up my first couple batches of biscotti for the coffee shop today. I got paid $20 for 40 peices. That's about twice the cost of making them, so I'm content with it. They'll be selling them for $1 each, so I'm profiting the same as the coffee shop. Fair deal. I'm much more excited about the fact that something I MADE is being SOLD. hehe. That $10 profit went to my challenge money.

Work was incredibly busy today. I have to say, I haven't seen a saturday that busy in a looong time. I guess spring and fall are the busy times at my restaurant. So winter has been a bit slow. At any rate, I walked out with $155 after tipping out 20%. That's awesome. And I had plenty of change to contribute to my challenge.

In other frugal news, I got a freebie in the mail today. Samples of dove shampoo and conditioner. A friend also sent me a Paul Mitchell set that he picked up at a hair show he was working a while back (he does lighting and camera work at these big hair conventions). So I dont have to buy more conditioner afterall! Or my favorite hair product... and it takes me close to a year to get through a bottle anyways. Also, last night when I was at Eat n Park I snagged a few little thingies of that sugar free welch's blackberry jam. It was so good I decided to snag a few. Muahahaha. Also, my coworker decided to move to Este Lauder makeup and skincare, so the Ulta gift certificate that she got for Christmas she decided to give to me. Along with 2 tubes of Victoria Secret lip gloss. I'd have to say I made out pretty well.

So things are working out well on the financial front, despite all of the setbacks due to the mugging and whatnot. Though I still have to go to the bank and have them take care of those overdraft fees. Oh, and the coffee shop owner told me that he heard that my mugger was caught. Let's hope! If so, I'll be getting a call here soon to appear in court.

Still waiting for 2 of my W-2 forms from Ohio from early 2006. Hopefully they'll come soon. I need to go to HR Block and get my taxes done. I got my form from the restaurant, and as a previous post said on here, I totally had that "I made THAT much this year?? Where did it all go???" reaction. Of course, then I take a look through all of my reciepts, and it makes sense. Food. haha. And clothes.

At any rate, I'd better get going here. I should get to bed. I've noticed my challenge money is growing substantially. I've gathered quite a bit of change... and with that book I sold on amazon and the profit I made from the biscotti, I'm not doing too bad.

Challenge total $78.63
+ Change from work $1.53
+ Biscotti profit $10.00
New Challenge total $90.16

Busy busy!

January 19th, 2007 at 07:03 am

Thanks again for everyone who left all of those nice comments on my last entry about selling baked goods to the coffee shop Smile I didn't get aroud to making the biscotti yesterday... a bit busy and a bit distracted because BF took the day off. But I didn't leave the house really. I DID, however, have to buy a book that I didn't realize I needed. An extra $43... oh well.

The good news is that I put that school expense on my ATM CARD, which yes, is back in action. Well, it's a new card, but my bank account is finally *almost* in order. They just need to refund me $66 in overdraft charges. But hey, I'm in the black and able to use my money that was sitting in there previous to the robbery and what I deposited after the robbery.

I'll be making that biscotti tomorrow. I've got most of the day off before I have to go in to work the dinner shift. Today, however, is my double Frown Good money, but loooooooong hours. At any rate, I'm gonna try and make it a no-spend day. I've got some homework to do over my lunchbreak. That should keep me occupied.

Oh, and I forgot to mention my classes! They're going to be great, I can tell. A lot of work, but very interesting. A lot of research and paper writing. That's really my favorite Smile Geez, I'm a nerd. haha. At any rate, I need to get ready to go to work. You all have a wonderful day, and I'll keep y'all updated on the baking adventures!

Challenge total $51.26
+ book sold on amazon $13.62
+ change $0.38
New Challenge total $65.26

I did it!!!!

January 17th, 2007 at 06:58 pm

So I've been pondering this idea for a couple weeks now... There's this new coffee shop that just opened up near my apartment. It's a really small, quaint place. I went to check it out yesterday and I inquired the owner about who does thier baking, mentioning that I do some myself. The guy gave me a free cup of coffee and said he'd try some of my baked goods. So last night, I made some Chocolate-dipped almond biscotti and one of my chocolate chip coffee cakes and brought it to the coffee shop this morning on my way to class. He gave me another free cup of coffee this morning and told me to come back later and he'd tell me how he liked it. So on my way back from class I stopped in and it turns out that he really liked the biscotti! He told me to make another batch, and told me to cut him a deal on it and he'd sell it in the shop!

I'm totally excited. For a couple reasons... I've always wanted to bake, whether I owned my own bakery or made baked goods for a restaurant etc. And even though I wont be able to make a huge profit on this biscotti, it's something! I dont mind putting in the extra time if it's baking. I love to bake!

It costs about $6 a batch for supplies. I figured if I charged him $15 per batch I'd make $9... not bad for 2 hours of work and made from scratch. If he sold them for $1.50 each, or even $1.25 each he'd still make a profit of $15-$10 per batch. He said he didn't get around to trying the cake yet. That would probably be a bit more profitable because you can cut it into more peices. At any rate, the idea of making a little extra cash while doing something I enjoy is enough for me!

I'm just proud of myself for asking. They say you never know until you ask, and I went for it! And I got 3 free cups of coffee and a cinnamon roll in the process! Doesn't quite make up for the supplies necessary to make the first batches I gave to him, but regardless I think it was worth it to make the connection.

In other news, I used my coupons and did some grocery shopping.

Campbells healthy select soup... on sale .90 off, coupon doubled makes an additional $1 off 2
Total price: 2 for $1.50 or 0.75 a can
Total saved: $2.80

Coupon for 1 free Pria Energy Bar
Total price: $0
Total saved: $1.35

Prego Sauce $2 each. Coupon doubled makes an additional $1 off 2. And I'll be mailing in to get one of them free. After rebate...
Total price: 2 for $1.50 or 0.75 a jar
Total saved: $3.00

Cottage cheese doubles 1.12 each. Coupon doubled makes 1.00 off 2.
Total price: 2 for 1.24 or 0.62 each
Total saved: $1.00

Glade air freshening spray on sale for 0.88. Coupon buy one get one free.
Total price: 2 for 0.88 or 0.44 each
Total saved: $1.00

Pure Protein bars on sale 1.00 each. Coupon buy one get one free.
Total price: 2 for $1 or 0.50 each
Total saved: $1.50

Total saved: $10.65

Yay!!! More to add to the challenge... totals to be posted later Smile

Work and the $20 challenge

January 15th, 2007 at 09:22 pm

Work tonight went alright. Our sale wasn't as quite as big as we had hoped for our big party, but I did walk away with $96 in tips for the night... MUCH better than a usual monday night (last week I made $25). No complaints here whatsoever! I ended up declining my coworker's offer to go out to dinner after work. Because a) I didn't want to spend the money and b) I wanted to get to bed early tonight... as you can see, that's working out really well. hahaha.

At any rate, that makes today a no-spend day. I'm really feeling proud of myself at this point. Even after we decided to not go get dinner, I declined going to buy icecream as well... something I've been craving madly for the last couple of days.

Tomorrow is shopping day. I pick up my copy of the Burning Crusade (yay!) and do a bit of grocery shopping as well. I'm also stopping at the bank to try and clear up my bank account (again)... though I'm liking this whole cash system. I seem to spend less when it's not in my bank account and I dont have it on me because it's in envelopes at home Smile

I'm hoping these coupons treat me well... I'll report the savings after they've been saved, though. I work tomorrow as well, though I'm not expecting anything great in the way of tips. We can hope, but it's all you can eat night... which generally means poor tippers.

I didn't end up going to the gym today... I just wasn't feeling up to it. Probably the crappy weather we've been having. It's pretty warm, but gloomy and rainy. Me and BF are going to go tomorrow, though. Ah, tomorrow... my last day before school starts. I'll have to make it count! hehe. At any rate, you all have a great night!

Challenge Total $39.12
+ Change from work $1.48
+ No-spend day $1.00
New Challenge Total $41.60

Semi-lazy day

January 15th, 2007 at 11:37 am

I woke up at 10:30, and lounged and played video games until around 2:00... so I'd claim that to be pretty lazy. On the flip side, I will be going to the gym with BF here in about an hour. I was going to hit the grocery store today because it's right by the bank. But then I realized it's MLK day, so the bank's not even open. So I'll go tomorrow. I was going to hit Giant Eagle anyway when I run to best buy to pick up the WoW Expansion pack I preordered. $40, but I definitely play it enough to make up for it... and it's a highly anticipated purchase Smile

BF designed a flyer for the restaurant I work for, and in return they gave him $100 DOLLARS in gift certificates for his work.. they were on a deadline and he got it done quickly and it looked great. But at the same time, it seemed a bit much. At any rate, $50 of it is to Kiku, the restaurant I work at, and the other $50 is a trade certificate, which can be used at a bunch of places. So BF said he was going to take me to one of our favorite restaurants! Yay!

I work tonight, and it should be fairly busy. We have a big party coming in. Usually mondays are pretty slow, but this will be a pleasant change. Besides, the big party is for a close friend of the restaurant. He's a great tipper Wink

My coworker suggested going to this indian restaurant after we get off work. I've got $15 left in my dining budget, so I may have to take her up on that offer Smile Besides, school starts in a couple of days. After that, we wont have much time to hang out. Especially considering I'll be playing that expansion game... Smile hehe. I'm such a dork.

Yay productivity!

January 14th, 2007 at 12:32 pm

So I went into super-frugal mode today. I decided to take home a couple of my ties from work and wash them myself. They get really gross from the restaurant, and I usually just replace them because getting them drycleaned isn't really worth it in my opinion. I've probably spent $50 on ties in the last 7 months. Granted, I buy them at Burlingon, usually for about $7 each. But I wanted to experiment to see if I could clean them at home. So I took 2 of the ones that weren't shiny looking (I figured these would be the easiest), and soaked them in a solution of water, baking soda, and vinegar. They're hanging to dry right now. Let's cross our fingers! I'm not expecting them to be perfect, but not quite as spotted would be nice...

I also picked up a copy of the Sunday Paper and spent a while clipping coupons and recording them onto a spreadsheet. Then I looked through sales ads and I'll be making a trip to the store tomorrow after I run to the bank to clear up the mess that is my account. I was going to go today, but I'll be out tomorrow anyways. So today will be counted as a no-spend day because the savings made from the coupons should exceed the cost of the newspaper ($1.50).

Me and BF are eating in tonight... teriyaki steak and rice, brussel sprouts for me. Mmm. I ate leftovers for breakfast and lunch. I also planned out my menu (loosely) for the week.

It feels good to be making all this progress! I'm just hoping once the semester starts that I'll be able to keep it up. At any rate, I hope you all have a great day!

Challenge Total $37.62
+ change $0.50
+ no-spend day $1.00
New Challenge Total $39.12

I'm still on a roll!

January 13th, 2007 at 10:20 pm

Another no-spend day. Cha-ching! And I added $5 instead of $1 today for a few reasons...

1. BF suggested going to one of our favorite restaurants and I declined (not an easy task).
2. I had decided to make that Steak Au Poivre that I meant to make before instead.
3. After assessing the pantry, all I would have needed was butter and brandy, but I decided to make a recipe using things I already had in stock.
4. I ended up eating for free at work instead of coming home to cook for me and BF. I'll be making that teriyaki steak for dinner tomorrow on my day off Smile

I've continued using my semi-envelope system. And I've continued staying at home during the day. My grocery budget has hit the $30 mark... but I'm going to try and not buy too much for the rest of the month. And I started planning my meals for the week. I've definitely got some leftovers to get rid of over the next couple of days.

We ran out of dish liquid... I'm looking for a recipe to make my own. We only really use it for pans anyway. We put all regular dishes in the dish washer. I know you can use baking soda to clean many things, so I'll be looking into that.

Tomorrow, like I said, is my day off. I plan to lounge. Not much different than what I've been doing for the last few days Smile Which would explain why I haven't really spent any money... hehe. I might get a head start on some of my reading for class... or continue a crocheting project. Who knows. I'm definitely cooking dinner, though, that's for sure!

I'm feeling really good about cracking down on myself. I read a few articles online and decided that I dont really go to enough measures, and it's ridiculous that I'm so in debt when I make 20k a year. Granted, I do live on my own and pay bills, but seriously. How can I be almost $15k in debt already? I need to start spending less on silly stuff and pay off my loans already. The longer they sit, the more interest they'll accumulate. I dont want to be totally screwed when I start my grad work.

I'm a smart enough girl to make this work. I'm not anticipating being completely free of debt when I graduate, but I'd like to be much less in debt and save a bunch on interest Smile

Time to start REALLY acting like an adult! Later, y'all!

Challenge Total $31.71
+ no-spend bonus! $5.00
+ change from work $0.91
New Challenge Total $37.62

New system, let's cross our fingers!

January 13th, 2007 at 02:06 am

So I decided to start using an semi-envelope system. Semi meaning that I'm not going to put every penny/dollar I earn into an envelope... But most of it! That way I dont have much cash on hand and I can just deposit my money when I need to write a check or such. I figured it would keep me from spending the money I have on hand. It'll also be better for my insurance, which I pay quarterly. I end up not saving anything in the off months (though I plan to) and have to come up with the whole of the bill every 3 months. If I stash it in an envelope it wont get spent. Let's see how it goes...

In other news, I started a spreadsheet of how much I pay per item on all the reciepts I've kept since May. It's interesting to see what stores have the cheaper prices. I only really shop at 2, so it's kind of entertaining. I also hopped on the ball and went to store locators for Aldi and Save a lot in my area. Not sure why I didn't do this sooner.

Today did in fact end up being a no-spend day. My coworker bought me dinner after I got off my shift. I made decent money as well. Tomorrow will be yet another night, though saturdays are generally bad for me in the earning department. I'm the last server in... bleh.

I'm hoping tomorrow will be another no-spend day. I'm rackin 'em in this week! It does wonders for my challenge, that's for sure. I'm hoping to do some cooking. I got the ingredients to make my zuchinni soup. That may be on the agenda... and I want to plan my meals out for the week tomorrow. And make a list of the purchases I've been planning for a while. Perhaps sort them into want/need categories and develop a plan for eventually obtaining them?

BF had talked about going to a party after I get off work, and though it could be fun I'm not sure if I want to foot the bill for the liquor store. I'm thinking I may just go home to a relaxing evening in my PJ's.

Me and BF preordered our copies of the World of Warcraft expansion the other day... that means I have to shell out $40 to him here soon. There goes the entertainment expense Smile I also have to journey to the bank yet again to try and get things sorted out, because until I do I cant play my beloved game anyway... my account is heavily overdrawn so they suspended my online account. Erg. I also cant transfer any money to my emigrant or pay the interest on my loans until then as well. So annoying.

At any rate, I better get some sleep or I wont wake up until 4 in the evening. Sheesh. I cant believe how late it is. No wonder I have a headache... I need to eat.

Goodnight/morning, everyone!

Challenge total $29.25
+ Change-work $1.46
+ no-spend day $1.00
New Challenge Total $31.71

Saving Advice comes through again!

January 12th, 2007 at 12:01 pm

Instead of walking around here in the mall where my restaurant is located, I'm in my boss' office on SA! No money going to be spent this way. haha. It's just my saving grace that the boss lets me use his computer for personal things Smile The lunch hour just ended and everyone has eaten. That means it's my break time. I'm shooting for a no-spend day. I brought snacks with me so I wouldn't hit the vending machine. The chefs made something good for lunch, so I was in the clear Smile

Last night ended up being nice, though I didn't end up making dinner. As it turns out, cognac isn't very cheap... I'm just going to use brandy next time. But me and BF did end up going to Red Lobster. We shared an entree and I got water instead of pop. I dont regret it seeing as how it's my last hurrah before the semester starts. Once school starts, the only night off I'll have is Sunday. I've got a lot of planning to do as far as meals go...

So after Red Lobster, we went to KMart to get a toy that BF needed for a project for class. Go figure, I dont get to buy cool things like that for school... I did end up getting a glass baking dish for $6. I was going to use it to make Rice Pudding, and then taco dip for a get together I'm planning. I'm pretty excited.

Mortal Kombat II on the super nintendo, munchies, and beer. It's like a dream come true. Smile All we have to do is replace one of our controllers. Luckily, they're not too expensive at the Exchange. I couldn't imagine a super nintendo controller being very expensive anyway...

At any rate, I have to go to the bank again on monday because my account is still all messed up and overdrawn. Stupid people stealing and using my ATM card. Ugh.

Either way, I hope you all have a great day! Wish me luck for the dinner shift!

Zany Zuchinni? I need to hop on the veggie aliteration train.

January 11th, 2007 at 11:15 am

Yesterday was a no-spend day. That's $1 added to the challenge money. I also did the frugal thing and invited my friend over to the apartment as opposed to going out. We watched Family Guy, ate munchies we had at the apartment. My friend brought the captain and coke. We supplied the smirnoff and rootbeer. I still managed not to have too bad a hangover this morning.

My apartment, however, is a sticky alcohol-induced mess. So I'll be doing some cleaning. BF is at class until 4 or so. I'm trying to get the apartment clean by then. I want to have a romantic dinner tonight. A trip to the grocery store may be in order... I want to make some more of that zuchinni soup as well... Yes, that's my appreciated veggie for the day Smile I love all veggies, but zuchinni has always been a personal favorite. All winter veggies too... squash and such.

Oh, I found some change on the bedroom floor. 46 cents. It's most likely BF's, but my policy is that if it's oon the floor and it's change, it's fair game. Thank you to the cleaning fairy Smile Either way, I'm feeling alright today. Looking forward to this dinner tonight. I think I'll make Steak Au Poivre. Mmm.

Challenge total $26.13
No spend day $1
Cleaning Fairy toll $0.46
New Challenge Total $27.59

No spend Day... and $20 challenge!

January 9th, 2007 at 08:33 pm

Alright, so with all the hubbub, I never got the chance to start my $20 challenge for the year. I dont have my goal set yet, but I did count up all the change I've accumulated since the 1st and it's all in the piggy. I set aside 20 bucks in an envelope, so now it's time to roll. To date, I've contributed $5.13. I think I'm gonna hop on the bandwagon and add $1 because it was a no-spend day. That brings my total total to $6.13.

Initial $20
Change $5.13
No spend $1
Year Total $26.13

I not only finished up some organizing... ended up with yet another bag of trash. I turned all the lights off in the living room and opened up the blinds. I also packed my dinner to bring to work rather than getting snacks out of the vending machine after going to the gym. Woo! Being frugual can be quite fun.

I found a quarter when cleaning up, which was part of the change I added to the challenge. I thought about the saying, "a penny saved is a penny earned." I like it, and I've decided it's an ideal to live by. That's why I started putting all change from my day's earnings/purchases into my piggy for the challenge.

I'm so happy that things are getting back to normal. My bank account should be back to normal by thursday. Thank goodness. I hate carrying all this cash on me.

My second loan for the year was approved. That's a relief, I guess. But every time I think about how in debt I'm becoming, it's awfully scary. Perhaps I should go back to aggressively paying on it? I'll be up to $110 in interest per month alone come next week. It's pretty bad. Thank goodness I'll be picking up a second job over the summer. All extra income will go toward the debt. Or to save up for the following semester. Once my bank account gets back to normal I have to make a payment. Grr. This whole $600 overdraft BS is starting to get on my nerves.

Work has been slow this week, I'm hoping it will pick up a bit this weekend. I've got the next 2 days off. More time to hit the gym and finish preparing for the semester. More eating at home and less eating out. Perhaps I can get away with 2 more no-spend days for the week? I hope so.

Ah well, I better stop rambling. It's time for me and BF to watch a movie I borrowed from the library. Yay for free entertainment!

Sheesh... productive day!

January 8th, 2007 at 01:12 pm

Okay... So I went to the bank. My account should be squared away by thursday. I mailed off the book I sold on Amazon. I went to campus and replaced the ID ($25), switched my class, and bought my books and bus pass ($202). It's an expensive day.

The upside, I guess, is that me and BF were going to go out to lunch. But after all the money we spent on things for the apartment last night (toothbrush holder, towel ring, soap dispenser, wash cloths, kitchen towels, a bookshelf, a kitchen rug, etc.), we decided that we should do lunch at home. That was fine by me because I had cooked a TON over the weekend, and consequently have lots of leftovers.

Dinner last night went well. My mozzarella stuffed meatballs and spaghetti was well recieved and a bottle of wine was finished in celebration of things getting back to normal. My guests brought dessert which was WONDERFUL. Tiramisu = Tara's most favorite dessert in the world. And it was a really good one, too.

Our apartment is starting to shape up nicely. I'm happy we got that bookshelf yesterday. It was only $20 at walmart and it frees up a lot of surface area on our dining room table. I need to go through and sort out stacks of folders/papers/books in our bedroom though. I forsee a lot to throw away.

I'm about set for school. My schedule is where it needs to be and my books are bought. A few more supplies and I'll be set. I'm getting really excited. I've got one last week of break, and then I'll be back. I'm going to work superhard this semester, and I'm determined to come out with a 4.0. Dont get me wrong, 3.7 aint bad, but I'm a bit of a perfectionist sometimes Smile

At any rate, I have to buy dinner before I go to work, but I'm thinking I'm just going to pick up some fast food. It's cheap. I need to lighten the blow from the books! Speaking of lightening and fast food, I may have to hit the gym here soon. The holidays are still catcing up with me!

Have a great day everyone!

Attempting to return to normalcy...

January 7th, 2007 at 08:35 am

Well, the detectives came to my house, and I have much good news. I was able to identify the woman. And it happened to be the gal they thought it was, so they'll be making an arrest, and I'll be taking her to court. Trying to get this woman off the streets and where she belongs-- in jail.

Aside from that, I'm just trying to get things back to normal. I got my ID replaced, along with my glasses (thanks mom!) and purse (thanks Gram!). I worked last night, but didn't make too much money. Lucky for me, Gram paid me and BF both $50 to take down all the xmas decorations. I cant say it was worth quite that much (more like a $30 job), granted it was definitely a chore (BF mentioned that they employed half of Mexico to get the lights up, and there were plenty of them). Honestly, though, we would have done it for free. Especially after they replaced my purse AND took me and BF to Sam's Club and bought us close to $250 in groceries and paper products. I'm incredibly lucky to have such wonderful people in my life, really. They've been more than helpful since me and BF moved in together, and they were very concerned when they heard what happened to me. I love them like my own family... which is good I guess because they will be sooner or later!

I sold a book on amazon, and need to ship that off tomorrow. Also on the list is taking a lovely trip to the bank. It seems that the $600 purchase Ms. Wonderful tried to make with my card-- the one the bank claimed was denied-- went through with another $30 purchase I didn't make, and now I have overdraft fees as well. Tell me how the bank didn't see those when I went in the branch the LAST time?? Funny how it appeared on my internet banking but wasn't on their system... grr.

I went grocery shopping yesterday (yes, even after that Sam's Club run) to get perishables. Last night I made dinner for me and BF. Parmesan crusted sole. Yum. Tonight we're having a couple friends over (coworkers) for dinner and I'm making spaghetti and stuffed meatballs (stuffed w/ cheese, that is). I think it's due time to break open that bottle of wine the parents bought me for xmas. I need a little celebration.

Me and BF are in the middle of a great project right now. Cleaning and organizing every room in the apartment. After we returned from Ohio, and consequently Sam's Club, we really needed to reorganize our cabinets and frige to fit everything. Thank goodness. Much was thrown out, and there were things in my refrigerator that had been in there just a little too long... Last night we attacked the closet and filled 2 big paper bags with clothes and shoes to go to goodwill.

I need to get to campus for a couple reasons. I need to replace my student ID, then switch a class before the semester starts next week. I also have to buy my books. Ugh. May have to dip into savings for that one, but we'll see. I'm lacking in that $100 of B&N giftcards my parents got me for my textbooks.

At any rate, dinner tonight should be a good time, and I'm enjoying the fact that things are getting back to normal. Class will be starting soon, and I'm definitely excited to get back. I've found my love for cooking all over again, and though buying a lot of produce gets a bit pricey, I'm enjoying entertaining. I hope everything keeps up and that I can tie up loose ends with this whole robbery thing soon. I'm happy to say I'm feeling alright despite the occurence, and the only time I get a little anxious is if I'm alone in the dark. I'm holding on tight to BF from now on... anyways, thanks for reading if you got this far! It was a bit lengthy.

Have a great day, everyone!

Update on the Situation

January 5th, 2007 at 08:43 am

I've read all of the comments made on my last blog about my robbery, and firstly I want to say thank you to everyone who responded. That kind of support and caring counteracts the complete disregard and violation of person. There are good people still out there, and all of you, along with my family, friends, and coworkers have helped me to keep believing that.

A couple of your responses in particular:

Tiki: Anxiety and panic attacks are definitely following. Being alone in the dark, even in my own house is difficult right now. Luckily I have a great boyfriend to keep close and a positive outlook. I'm a psych major and I have plenty of resources available to me if I need help, thankfully. I'm sure, though, it will take some time to feel really secure. And thanks for the hugs Smile

PricePlus: This has been the one thing running through my head the most over the last few days. See, I KNOW I'm an easier target when I'm on the phone. The problem is that I always wanted my BF to be available to get me help if he wasn't there, which is why I was talking on the phone. I'm usually very aware of my surroundings, and I usually cross the street way before a person could approach me. The problem was that this woman was crouching down in the dark. I thought she was a dog at first. At any rate, I wont be walking home alone again. Period. I'd rather pay the money to get a cab. I will say, however, that I'm glad I was on the phone at the time. Had I not been, my phone would have been gone with my purse, and I'm not sure what I would have done. BF walked me through everything after the woman drove off. I couldn't thank him enough now.

And now the update... I went back to Ohio for a couple of days to replace some of the things that were stolen, along with my glasses that were knocked off. I'm lucky to have family like mine, that's all I can say. My parents offered to pay for my glasses, and BF's grandparents replaced my purse and wallet, as well as taking us to Sam's club to stock up on some essentials. I replaced my ID yesterday, and spent a considerable amount of time with my best friend, which made things feel much better.

A detective called me yesterday and said they think they know who it was. They're coming to my apartment on Sunday to show me a photo spread, and I'm hoping I'll be able to identify the woman. I'll also be giving the detective my credit card information, and hopefully those transactions will lead him further in the right direction. My landlord is changing our locks, so we'll have a little added security there.

Mentally and physically I feel okay. There's still a little bruise on my face and my nose is still a little messed up. I'm not nervous until dark. I know everything will be alright eventually. All I can do now is wait and try to get these people and thank everyone I can for all the love and support they've given me. It's meant so much to me.

Much more than just a financial setback...

January 2nd, 2007 at 11:04 am

I'm sad to say that this new year was kicked off with a rather unfortunate event. I got robbed last night.

I was walking home from work last night alone. BF was out of town. I was on the phone with him when a woman walking by me grabbed my purse. It was over my arm, so I was swung around and fell on the ground. In the midst of screaming, she kept telling me to let it go. I couldn't do anything but scream, and after a few seconds she punched me in the face. I let the purse go, she hopped into a car and drove off.

I'm okay, thankfully. My nose bled for a little while last night, but stopped. It hurts a little today, but nothing major.

My purse is gone with all of my money, my atm card, my ID, gift cards I was going to use to purchase my textbooks, and my keys. My glasses were knocked off at some point and need replacing. Luckily I needed to get new ones anyway.

I think the worst part, though, is the awful feeling I've had since. I was hysterical. I'm thankful I was talking on my phone at the time, or they would have gotten that too. I talked to BF right away and he stepped me through everything. I'm not sure what I would have done without him talking to me. My neighbor was home and I stuck around at his place, talked to the police, and BF came straight home.

Things are fine, I guess. I'm pretty shook up. I'll be going back to Ohio today. My boss is letting me take a couple days off. The people that robbed me used my ATM card 4 times by the time I called the company, including an attempted $500 purchase at walmart that was denied because I only had $16 in my account. haha.

The only thing that sucks is all the money I've made in the last 2 days-- aka all the money I have-- is gone. I have to get my ID replaced. Luckily I just switched wallets and forgot to take my SS card out. Unfortunately, my SS number is on my ID. At any rate, I've had a long night, and it's going to be a while before I really feel okay.

I'll never walk home alone again. Erg.

Fresh New Start... feels GREAT.

January 1st, 2007 at 08:54 am

So after a week and a half away from work, home, and computer, I'm back. My vacation was great. Got to visit the family and my friends. Got a little crazy at the start of the week, caught a cold for Xmas. But overall, it was a great week... just not quite relaxing enough for my taste.

Now I'm home. I had to work the last couple of nights, including New Years Eve, so the only celebration that went down was some silly picture taking and dancing in my living room with BF, his sister, my boss, and my coworker. I'd be lying if I said it wasn't fun Smile Nothing too crazy, a beer or two and some munchies. My kind of night. I crashed pretty early.

I'm happy the holidays have passed. There was a great deal of money spent on vacation, and I've got a fresh new start for the new year. Today I need to grocery shop-- badly-- and I've decided to put together menus for the week. I dont have school until the 17th, so there's no excuse for me to eat out whatsoever. I want to cook! I got 2 new cookbooks for xmas, inlcuding the current Joy of Cooking Book. I was so excited. BF's gram got me a nice al-clad pan, and my parents bought me a really nice blender that has an attatchable food processor. Yay!

I also go some Giant Eagle gift cards and plenty in Barnes and Noble for my textbooks. Oh! And my grades were fine. All A's except French... B+. I'm doubting that I'll be taking French again. I'm gonna hold out for another Japanese class at one of the other universities around here sometime later. I had better start buying my books! I picked one of them up before the break started. I'll be rescheduling a class, so I may pick up additional cost, but we'll see.

At any rate, I'm incredibly excited about the new year! I love fresh beginnings, and there are so many ways I want to alter my habits to promote more healthy and frugal living! And friends to be made! I've gained a couple, and that feels great! I'm looking forward to my next semester. I'll be taking mostly classes for my major, which means I'll meet more people with similar interests. Yay! *crossing my fingers*

So everyone, Happy New Year! I hope you are all as optimistic as I am! Cheers!