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Archive for February, 2007

And I'm Back!

February 18th, 2007 at 06:26 am

So after a short hiatus to work things out with BF, I feel back to normal. My finances were on the fritz for a while because I happened to not record things :P

At any rate, there have been some new happenings in the world of Tara! For one, I've had quite the social week... despite all of the homework that I *should* have been doing. But I'm relieved that things are picking up a bit in that department!

In other exciting news, I'm taking a trip for spring break! And if you're thinking Cancun, you're wrong Wink I'm going to New Orleans with a group from my university to help rebuild houses devastated by hurricane Katrina. Hard work to come, for sure. I think it's going to be a great experience though and I'm really looking forward to it. I just have to hit the gym quite a few times beforehand. I'm going to be hurting. That's without a doubt!

Other than that, I'm just doing the same old same old... work, school. I've got a lot of schoolwork to do tomorrow, including a paper that I put off way too long. I better get sleeping! I have a long day ahead of me!

Talk with BF and plans for the day

February 8th, 2007 at 03:25 pm

So... I talked with BF about a bunch of things that I see going wrong with the relationship, and we're going to change/work on a few things... like becoming better friends. We dont talk as much as I'd like to.

But nonetheless, I feel much better about things. We're still planning on moving--together-- in April. But our plans for marraige are going to be pushed back a bit. I want to start, and perhaps even finish grad school before then. But we'll see what happens.

Oh, and luckyrobin, my friend is gay Smile I dont think he's too interested in stealing me away. hehe.

As for today, I'm going to campus early to work on some stuff for class. There's a poetry reading/workshop at 1:00, which I'm really excited about. I love poetry and it'll be nice to go do something on campus that isn't going to class. I just wish I had someone to go with.

After that ends, I have nothing to do until class at 6:00. Which means working on more homework/readings.

It seems as though I may have to pack lunch AND dinner today... But perhaps not. Maybe I'll stop and get Wendy's or something. I've had a good week, and I've only used 20 cents of my Food on Campus budget, which is $20. A junior bacon cheeseburger and a baked potato... or maybe chili. It's so cold! At any rate, $2.23 for a meal aint bad at all.

I need to figure out what I'm going to get/make for BF for Valentine's day. He has just about everything he wants. That makes it pretty hard. I'm not big on buying things for people for the sake of buying them. I try to put a lot of thought into my gifts. So that will be one of the day's ponderings. What to get the boy who doesn't really care for chocolate or candy, and wants nothing? Sigh. This could be hard...

CHALLENGE TOTALS:
February total: $12.72
Year total: $142.29

Moving... and relationship hoo ha.

February 8th, 2007 at 03:08 am

I managed to only spend 15 cents today... all on containers. But that's not too bad. I found 4 cents on the floor in the University Cafe. I packed both my lunch and dinner.

Me and BF are moving into a larger apartment in April. We've found a few places to look at, and honestly I'm incredibly nervous right now. We've been going through some problems and I feel like I need to resolve them before we put a security deposit down. Either that, or find an alternative [separate] living space. I've been thinking a LOT. Most likely more than I should, but nonetheless I've come to some very interesting and unfortunate conclusions. I'm not happy. More specifically, I'm not happy with my relationship. I think we need to take some time apart to be independent and become friends again. Things have become much too superficial.

The problem with this is that it is going to cost quite a bit more. No split rent, etc. I was considering moving into a dorm if it came down to it, but I dont think I could do that. A kitchen of my own is a must. Of course, this is all just an idea and there is a big possibility that we wont move separately. I'm just trying to be prepared.

I've got a lot to think-- and talk-- about regarding all this. In the meantime, I'm trying to truck on with my school work and not let all this on my mind get in my way. I keep telling myself that we can work through it. I've talked to both of my best friends, who both love him and they're rooting for us. I am too. But when I talked to a new friend who has never met him, he suggested maybe taking a break. I've been thinking about it. We'll see. I think there's a certain value to a 3rd party opinion. but once again, only time can tell now... Everyone have a great night!

Another example of "laziness doesn't pay."

February 7th, 2007 at 04:34 am

Some other bloggers here commented earlier this week about laziness and its pros/cons in the financial field. I'm not so happy to say that today I learned a valuable lesson:

Never go to HR Block.

The fact that I paid $60 to do what I could have done just drives me up a wall. I thought my taxes were complicated, but really all I had to do was put in one additional peice of information that I didn't have last year, and I get everything back. That information was nothing more than my tuition statement. Ugh. I could have done it myself.

Not only that, but they didn't do my state taxes... it would have been extra. So I have to file those myself. Ridiculous.

On the upside, my federal is filed and I'm getting $810 back. Not too shabby at all! Of course, the majority of it will be put back into student loans. Perhaps a hundred of it or so will go to my challenge. Just because Smile And another hundred will go toward my emergency fund.

I packed my dinner tonight and had lunch at home. So all money spent today was on groceries, perscriptions, and tax preparation. Boo.

My grocery budget is coming along fabulously. I managed under $10 for the week, and I'm fairly confidnent that I'm going to reach my goal of spending under $50 for the month. I haven't really spent any money on campus either. 5 cents for a cup with hot water in it, but I've been reusing the cup for the last 2 days. Bringing my tea to campus with me...

I'm meeting a new friend for coffee tomorrow on campus. It should be nice. We've been talking over Facebook [for those who dont know, it's a university-based networking community type of thing]. He goes to my university and seems pretty cool. Let's hope I make a lasting friendship! I've been feeling rather social lately. I keep telling myself that I dont know anyone here, but really I've made quite a few aquaintences. I wish a few of them were closer friends, but I guess that comes with time.

At any rate, I better get going. I've got class in the morning! Everyone have a great night!

Grocery shopping going well

February 6th, 2007 at 05:33 pm

I went to Giant Eagle this morning to pick up my prescription. I also grabbed just the few things that were on my list for the week. I used a couple coupons and saved a couple of bucks.

Total spent: $7.10
Total saved in coupons and sales: $2.14

All savings go to my challenge money. I've got to go to campus today unexpectedly for a psych club something or other, so I'll be downtown. In my down time, I think I'm gonna head to HR Block to get my overly complicated taxes taken care of. At least ask about their rates. I packed a dinner to eat before work. So it should, for the rest of the day, be a no-spend day. I may work on a paper while I'm on campus as well.

Last night at work ended up being much busier than I had anticipated, and I was the only server for some reason. So I made decent money. Woo! I like those days... Let's hope tonight will be a good tip night as well. Everyone have a great day!

CHALLENGE TOTALS:
February: $9.89
Year Total: $139.46

A day on campus

February 5th, 2007 at 09:01 pm

So I've been on campus since 9:40. It's getting closer to the time to go to work, and I'm about to go and eat my dinner... soup, an apple, and a ferrero rocher chocolate... All brought from home. Mmmm.

I had 3 classes today, 2 in which we were watching movies. My professor brought in popcorn for us all. The only money I've spent was 5 cents to buy a cup of hot water at the cafe. I brought my own tea. I also saved the cup and grabbed a few packs of equal to take with me, along with a couple of plastic spoons. I've been taking my spoons from home to campus with me, and it's kind of silly.

So it's not technically a no-spend day, but the remaining 95 cents I have from breaking a $1 bill will be put toward the challenge... yay! Still, 5 cents isn't too bad. I've had much worse days. haha. At any rate, I better get going. I'm stopping in the cafe to warm up my soup in the microwave, and then it's off to work for me. Though I'm really not looking forward to walking in this weather! The upside is it's much warmer here on campus than it is in my apartment. Cant complain too much! Later, everyone!

Brrrr! My apartment is an igloo!

February 5th, 2007 at 05:14 am

So me and BF went out of town for the weekend. We just got home, and even though we set the thermostat at 60 because we were gone, it's only 53! We've increased the temperature, but our little furnace that unfortunately couldn't is working its tail to no avail...

My trip was GREAT. I got to visit with family, and me and my mom went out with our cousin last night. I got to spend time with loved ones, and it was very inexpensive on my end. The only thing I paid for was Wendy's for mom and me because she had no cash on her. AND I ended up coming home with more than I went with for FREE. Yay!

2 pairs of jeans. Mom gave me one of hers that didn't fit her right, and we went shopping. Hit a great sale at JC Penny.
1 shirt.
1 pair of great boots.
1 can of spray to waterproof them (thanks again mom!)
1 bottle of Pinot Gregio
Half a family package of string cheese (mom wont eat the non low-fat kind anymore)
A whole container of Ferrero Rocher chocolates (Thanks to my Aunt and Uncle!)
Small package of granola.

Not too shabby! And I hit Ulta on our way to Ohio and took advantage of a freebie that was posted... a smashbox lip palette. Woo. I also had a 20% off coupon I recieved for being on their email list. AND my coworker gave me a $25 gift card there that she said she wouldn't use. So I spent $3 total and got the lip palette, moisturizer, a really cute shade of urban decay eyeshadow, and a 4 color combination eyeshadow from Covergirl. Not bad at all!!

But now I'm home and things are good. I've got class tomorrow, despite the single-digit weather. BF said he'd give me a ride to class, though. Whew!

I've decided on my own challenge for the month. In January, I spent $175 on groceries... just for me!! This month I budgeted $50, and I'm stickin to it. I'm gonna aim as low as I can. The money I save will go toward my student loans, but if I get under $50, I'm putting the money toward the challenge. Only food grocery items apply. I budgeted a separate amount for non-food grocery items. So here we go! I haven't grocery shopped at all in February. Yet. I think I'll be set for the week. I bought enough yogurt and apples to last me 2 weeks. So that covers lunch both days I'm on campus. But we'll see. At any rate, I'm gonna get going. I hope everyone had a great weekend!

January Recap

February 1st, 2007 at 02:48 pm

Alright... here it is!

$ Earned at work: $1019.70 [not so great at all...]

Expenses:
Groceries: $172.79 [$100 budgeted] $72.79
Dining Out: $98.00 [$45 budgeted] $53.00
Food on Campus: $7.92 [$15 budgeted] $7.08
Clothes: $9.40 [$15 budgeted] $5.60
Entertainment: $55 [$55 budgeted] $0
Gifts: $3.00 [$10 budgeted] $7.00

So about $106.11 over budget...

On the upside...
$20 Challenge total for January: $129.57
$ paid on student loan: $175
Total No-Spend days: 10 [my goal was 7]

Considering the fact that $140 was stolen along with $150 in gift cards I was going to use to buy my books, I can honestly say I did well. I made very little money this month compared to normal, which sucks. But I was able to pay my bills AND buy the World of Warcraft expansion, so I really have no room to complain. And I can only see positively into February. Life is getting back to normal.

I got my final W-2 in the mail today, so I will be taking a trip to HR Block to get my taxes taken care of. I'm not sure what thier rates are, but I'm sure it's going to save me a lot of confusion, as well as money, in the long run.

At any rate, I'll be getting off here now. I have to get ready to go to court. Everyone wish me luck!