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Archive for March, 2008

Ooooh mondays...

March 31st, 2008 at 11:41 am

I have love/hate relationship with mondays. On one hand, I love the concept of having a fresh start, a new week. At the same time, however, mondays are my long days. I'm on campus 11:00am-9:00pm. Sigh. Today has been relatively okay, however.

I packed my lunch this morning, and hopped the bus to go downtown. I had to stop at the bank to get cash because I'm not able to use my debit card to buy my bus pass. I sat down yesterday and calculated out the least expensive way to handle my transportation this month, and it seems that buying a bus pass was the cheapest route. So I bought one this morning.

Other than that, I have to buy dinner tonight, which will come out of my "food on campus" budget-- something I decided to reintroduce because I'm on campus so late on mondays. I figured it was better than taking that $5 or so a week out of my entertainment budget (part of the reason I went over budget in that category for march). I know it's technically still March, but I wanted to start fresh this week entirely, so here were are, pseudo-April Smile

I thought I was going to boycott using my CC for the moment, but unfortunately I have to pay a registration fee for a conference I'm presenting at in August-- it's super important, and is going to look fabulous on my resume, but it's still $250 out of pocket, just for registration. Boo. That'll be going on my CC, but other than that, the boycott continues.

I'm sending a job application in soon for a home-care position for mentally handicapped children. I'm pretty excited about it, and think it will be invaluable experience for me as a future psychologist (possibly child psychologist). So cross your fingers, everyone!

At any rate, I have tons to do, and never enough time, so everyone have a great day!

March and April goals/budget

March 30th, 2008 at 07:40 pm

So March is coming to a close, and that hellish month April is upon me. It's going to be a BUSY month. Now, busy usually means less spending for me, but we'll see how things play out. I'll be in the apt less often on the weekends because I need to be downtown a lot, and BF isn't going to be around as much on the weekends (both a blessing and a curse). He's got silly military stuff to attend to a couple weekends, and I have mucho tests and homework to get done. I'll be happy if I make it out of the month alive.

I finally filed my taxes, and I'll be getting about $600 back from the fed. Assuming I filed my PA taxes properly (questionable), I should be getting about $300 back. And then there's my stimulus check coming at some point-- most of which will be put into my credit card payments. I'm going to keep at least some of the fed return just in case I dont find a job in Ohio right after moving.

March totals went well. There were categories in which I was over (entertainment spending this weekend got a little bad, though it could have been much, much worse). Overall, however, I was $12.35 UNDER budget-- which I am happy to report, I put toward my CC payment. Woo! Every little bit helps!

I may have a couple big expenses coming up this month though. I'm setting aside $300 for vacation, though it should be less than that (we'll see). And I might have to take this test to get out of a class at my university, though it seems I may be able to get credit from my highschool spanish classes (cross your fingers!).

This weekend was alright spending-wise. BF paid for a LOT (including the few items that made up my groceries for the week!). I of course really appreciate all the help he gives, especially considering he's got some hefty debt himself. We never did get around to going over his finances, but he'll be back to PA on tuesday for work, so perhaps we'll have time this week. I did take a trip to the mall to use my $50 American Eagle gift card. I got the bathing suit I've been looking at, and also a cute shirt. I spent a little over the $50 (about $20 when everything's said and done), but I'm not fretting. I need some more summer/spring clothes.

I wrote out (a much more detailed) budget for April. I think some of my expectations for last month were a bit silly. Maybe not, considering I was under budget, but I was a little more specific this time around. My goals for the month are the same as last month, though I'm not seeing as many no-spend days.

I need to contact verizon, my gas co. and electric co. to let them know I'm moving at the end of the month. Hopefully that'll go smoothly. I should stop at my mom's house and make all those calls though. I dont want to use up all my minutes on my cell plan. We'll see.

Other than that, I'm just babbling and tired, and I really wanted to clean my apt tonight, but I got so wrapped up in taxes and budgeting that I seem to have run out of time. It's already getting late and I have class in the morning. ugh. I feel like I didn't get a break all weekend. I did homework constantly, even while visiting in Ohio. Sigh.

And I'm going to have to start packing soon! I move in less than a month! Gaa! Someone help me, I'm going to drown in all of these things to do!

I'm really gonna need that vacation at the end of the month Smile

Time is running out!

March 26th, 2008 at 05:24 am

It seems like the end of the semester is closing on me, it's coming up so fast! And yet it's so welcomed and feared in my book. I have so much to do! Papers to write, a presentation to plan, tests to take. Sigh. I got an A on both the tests I got back this week. We'll see how the paper I wrote was.

I managed to work out yesterday... for a measly 20 minutes. But still worked out. I had a terrible day, a sort of issue with one of my professor/friends. I was upset just about all day, but I think things will work out. We're going to get together on friday to talk about it some more.

BF is in PA this week for work, so I'm lucky to have someone to cuddle with every night Smile That is undoubtedly making my week happier!

Today should be a no-spend day. It's my early day, so I'll be catching the bus after class at 2:40 and coming home to do homework, clean my apt, and make dinner with BF. Then more homework. I'm trying to finish up a couple papers this week.

Tomorrow night I'm going to have a few friends over. That should be fun, and relatively cheap. We'll be smoking the hookah, but I've got plenty of shisha here and there's nothing really that we have to go out and buy. Friends will bring thier own alcohol.

That's about it! I'm hoping it's a low-key and very productive day. Wish me luck!

Easter Weekend

March 25th, 2008 at 05:17 am

Hello all!

BF made it home safely, and we had a very nice reunion at the airport when I picked him up Smile

We ate lunch at home saturday (I made chicken salads), we did go out to dinner with his family saturday night, but he paid (sweetheart), so when we went out with friends to the bar I bought him a couple beers. I still only ended up spending about $20 at the bar (with tip).

Easter was fun. We went and did easter lunch with BF's family, and then swung by my grandma's for some (more) dessert and spent some time with the family.

Mom offered to drive me back to PA, so I bought her some gas, and paid the tolls on the way, so I spent about $30 there. Which is still $10 less than I would have spent on a greyhound ticket to get back. And BF didn't have to drive all the way back in the morning. Much appreciated Smile

Yesterday was my long day at school, so I took my ritual once-a-week trip to subway and bought my kid's meal. I'm back to healthy eating after a rather unhealthy easter (way too much candy). Tonight I get back on my exercise routine as well.

I got my abnormal psychology test back last night... A! Woo! Guess I can pick the crazies now Big Grin

I'm trying to make today a no-spend day. Shouldn't be too difficult. BF is supposed to be coming to PA tonight and spending the rest of the week here for work, so I'll have another to cook for this week! But I've got my meals all planned out. Well, gotta get going! Everyone have a good day!

So much to look forward to :D

March 21st, 2008 at 07:41 am

Well, tomorrow BF comes home from his training hooplah! I haven't seen him in 2 weeks. Though the last few days have gone by at what seems to be light speed, I cant say the rest of the wait was that pleasant. So I'm so very excited Big Grin

As for today, grocery shopping and laundry. Groceries are going to be more than usual, as I have to get a few things that I only buy every few weeks (almonds, string cheese, etc) and BF is going to be in PA tuesday, wednesday, thursday, and friday nights, so I'm going to be cooking for us at least a few times. We talked about being broke, thus we're going to attempt to not dine out as much as possible. Besides, I tend to eat waaaay more in calories when I go to restaurants.

I'm only going to do one load of laundry today (I broke down and did 2 last week), so it should only be $2.50.

Last night I went out with my professor and a few other students working on research for a presentation we're doing at the APA division 32 conference in August. I'm so very excited. It's a big deal, and will look great on my resume. Not to mention, I've never been to Boston! We're trying to get the university to pay our travel and hotel costs. Cross your fingers for us!

Other than that, I'm slowly but surely going to have to go through my things and start packing. Only a month and a week til moving time! And my beach vacation!!!

It seems like I have just so much to look forward to Big Grin

Hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend!

No spend day, and the week is flying by!

March 19th, 2008 at 07:14 pm

This is the first NSD I've had in a few days. It feels great Smile It seemed like the day drug on, but here it is 10pm and I'm not sure where all the time went! Had class, came home, did my dishes, not sure what else until my friend came over and we worked out for an hour and a half or so. And now I'm settling down to start a paper. Woo-wee!

It was a very dreary day, and I cant wait for the weather to improve. I'm looking forward to BF coming home saturday afternoon. He's indeed grabbing the earlier flight, and I'm going to pick him up at about noon. Very exciting! It's been 2 weeks... hehe.

I've been eating semi-well, though I know I've slacked a bit. They were giving out free pizza at my university... that didn't help. haha.

Spending has been tight still, though there were a couple things I bought I could have surely done without (Diet Arizona Green tea... cheap, but gave me a headache!). I only bought food once this week... monday, because I have class until 9pm. I grabbed a subway kids meal. Mmm. Still under $5, not bad.

The only other news I have is that I'm down to 132 pounds Smile Keeping up with these workouts has given me so much more energy... but I find that it makes it harder to wake up in the morning. Still trying to keep it up though!

Everyone have a great night!

Crossing my fingers for another NSD :)

March 16th, 2008 at 08:08 am

Well. It seems like it's going to be another NSD. I've got an event at the university tonight, but it is after dinner time, so I'll eat before I go. I'm going to drive BF's car (gulp). I've been doing well for the last couple days driving it, but this'll be the first time I take it on the highway. No matter, it's usually the getting-going that gets me, not the actual driving part. hehe. Silly manuals... I just need to get decent at it so I can drive to the airport to pick BF up on saturday. I'm so excited to see him! Less than a week now! Smile

I'm going to work out here in a bit. I need to keep up on that. Especially since I baked chocolate chip cookies last night to cure my lonely. They were free, but not healthy in the slightest Smile Baking cookies makes me think of home, though, and it definitely helped!

I planned out my meals, but want to come up again with goals for this week:

1. Keep track of all spending (did good last week!).
2. 3 No-Spend Days again.
3. Stick to my meal plan (as to eat as much of the food I already have).
4. Keep to the Budget (I was under this week, exciting!).
5. Avoid dining out with BF. We're really bad about this, and it eats up our money so easily! I think this'll be easy considering we're both very strapped for cash and we'll be eating Easter dinner with our families on Sunday!

I want to write out a list of free/cheap things that BF and I could do together. Or even do with friends Smile There are so many things, afterall!

At any rate, everyone have a great day!

Grocery Shopping and staying under budget!

March 15th, 2008 at 08:28 am

I just finished up my grocery shopping. I stuck to the list I brought with me (with the exception of a .49 can of beets I thought would spice up my salads). I actually spent less than I had anticipated. I had expected to spend something to the tune of $16, and spent $14.40. Incredibly cheap, eh? Well, I'm surely cutting corners and trying to use up the food I have stocked up at home. So really I'm only buying things to pack in my lunch, and a few odd produce items. I was a bit disappointed they didn't have my hummus this time around, but I can put light mayo on my sandwiches, it'll be fine. And the best part? I'm $5.60 under my budget for groceries this month. It's just me, so I shouldn't be spending very much on groceries anyway.

In other spending, it's laundry day, so that'll be $2.50 for one load. I like to prioritize and save my towels for when I get to go back to my mom's. I have plenty to hold me over. lol. And I'll be there this weekend, so I'll get free laundry services Smile

Other than that, the plans for the day are to finish up some homework, and work out... though I'm taking it light today. My calves are still a bit sore from yesterday. I spent a whole hour on the treadmill! I did put my bathing suit on for the first time since this summer. It was a bit motivating, though not too bad! lol.

Better get working! Have a great saturday, guys!

Reviewing my week's goals.

March 14th, 2008 at 12:23 pm

It's been a fairly productive day... I planned out my meals for next week, as I'm going grocery shopping either tomorrow or sunday morning. Also was on the treadmill for an hour and I'm down to 133 lbs, which is exciting news!

Yesterday was my test, and it was better than I had expected it to be. I stopped by the bookstore yesterday and bought something that I could use for one of my papers, and something that I just wanted anyway. That was $13.86. I also took a trip to taco bell last night with friends... yes, unhealthy AND an extra expense. But as that's really the only entertainment (hanging out with my friends last night) expense I've had all week, I didn't feel bad. And I definitely worked it off today. lol.

Today is a no-spend day. Which makes 4 for the week. Tomorrow I'll likely be doing my grocery shopping and laundry, so I'll spend a little. Hopefully only around $20. I made up my grocery list today. So my weekly goals have thus far been achieved Smile

I kept track of my spending, kept to the budget (actually, thus far I'm under), for the most part kept to my meal plan (with the exception of that taco bell last night), and I had 4, not 3 no-spend days this week. Overall I'm pretty proud of myself!

I'm going to celebrate by spending the next day doing homework. lol. Perhaps I'll watch a movie tonight or something as well...

Have a great day, guys!

Loving the Sunshine (and no-spend day #3!)

March 12th, 2008 at 12:48 pm

It is a beautiful day Smile The temperature is getting up there (41 degrees!) and the sun is shining. I cant express how drastically this improves my mood.

I've already reached my weekly goal of 3 no-spend days! And I'm 1/4 of the way to my monthly goal. I've been keeping track of the spending still (though that may have more to do with the fact I haven't been doing much of it! haha). And I'm sticking to my meal plan. Tonight is whole wheat spaghetti with turkey meatballs.

I'm going to work out again later as well. I need to get in shape! I've set a goal to lose 11 pounds. I've gotten down 1 in the last few days, just improving my eating habits a little (haven't been going to restaurants... that helps substantially). Let's hope I can reach at least some of my goal in the next couple months!

In other news, I must have gotten on the same bus today because my ride downtown was again free! Another $1.60 saved. And at my university they had "Stress free day" and were giving out free cereal and energy bars, as well as some other little things. I found that exciting Smile

Well, time to study and work out. I've got a big test tomorrow! Wish me luck!

Finally a little "umph."

March 11th, 2008 at 04:31 pm

The last few days have been real downers. I'm not sure if it's just being burnt out at school or BF being away with so very little contact, but it's been rough regardless.

Today started the same way, though I had a little break last night (I made popcorn and watched "The Big Lebowski"-- which I got from the library, for free, as a side note!). I was tired, grumpy, etc. I decided before my psych club meeting to get some chunky monkey to cheer me up-- you gotta love $5 pints of icecream :/ I felt it necessary to get *something* special. And thankfully, it worked! lol. I dont think it was only that (by the way, I only ate about 1/4 the pint... I donated the rest to a friend!). I also talked to my mama, and it happened to be both daylight AND sunny when I caught the bus for home. That most certainly brightened my day Smile

So not a no-spend day, but a low-spend day nonetheless. Tonight a friend is coming over to work out with me. I figured that with less than 2 months before my beach vacation getting in shape isn't going to hurt... then we're going to spend the rest of the night studying... something I need to do. I have a big test on thursday. Seems like it's going to be a good night!

I've been sticking to my meal plan as well. So that freezer is slowly but surely getting a dent! And at this rate, the grocery bill is going to be relatively low for the next couple weeks. woo!

The only other financial news I have is that the ticket eating machine on the bus today was broken, so I got my ride home for free Smile I guess port authority came through for me once afterall! Night guys!

Long day.

March 10th, 2008 at 06:50 pm

Well, I've got no-spend day #2 Smile My march goal is coming along, even though I didn't actually start counting til the 8th. I happened to get dinner for free (a friend of mine put me on as a guest on her meal plan at the school cafeteria. woo!), so I didn't spend a penny.

I avoided buying a caffeinated beverage, even though I left my travel mug at home (but brought my tea. ugh). Probably better that way.

Turned in my paper, took a test tonight. Hope I did well. I have one more on thursday, so it's going to be a looong week. I'm just beat. I'm feeling awfully burnt out and missing BF quite a bit. Sure, it's been only 4 days since I've seen him, but when you're used to multiple text messages and at least a couple phone calls through the day, going a whole day with nothing is kind of rough. I haven't heard from him yet... he should be getting out of his silly military class any time now. He's off at some training thing til easter. I'ts gonna be a long couple weeks...

Guess I should get used to it. He's leaving for Oaklahoma for training in January, then off to Iraq in March. No BF for a year... It's going to be a rough year.

I'm looking forward to seeing him though. Easter should be fun! We're both going back to Ohio to spend time with both families. I absolutely love his family. They're so down to earth, so much like my family (though we're awfully crazy. haha). Lucky for us, his parents live a whopping 3 blocks or so from mine, so travelling between wont be an issue!

I've decided I need to color easter eggs at some point. That'll be a fun activity for me and my friend (cheap too!) yay for holidays involving large amounts of chocolate!

Lazy Sunday.

March 9th, 2008 at 08:06 am

Well, not really lazy, as I have a paper to write and a test to study for. But a sunday inside nonetheless. In my pajamas Smile

I made out my list of dinners for the week yesterday, so I'm going to try to stick to it the best I can. I move in less than 2 months now. I have to start using up the food I have as much as possible so I dont have to transport it. Not only that, but BF doesn't really have a whole lot of room in his apt for anything more. It's going to be a squeeze... I'm likely going to have to put my stuff in storage for a few months until we move into a bigger place.

I decided to write down my goals, as I haven't re-evaluated them for a while. Looking at the ones I've had posted, I think they're too long term, which is why I stray so easily. So I put down some goals for this week, and then a few that are a little longer-term:

This week:
-Keep track of my spending. Every penny. For the whole week.
-Stick to the budget (that kind of goes for the month too).
-Stick to my meal plan.
-Dine out at most once this week.
-Have at least 3 no-spend days (not including bus fare).

Longer Term:
-Use up as much food I already have as possible before the move.
-Do more cheap/free things w/ BF-- especially dining out less.
-Find a job/internship to start in May.
-Sort out debt, and come up with a plan come May to start tackling it.

I'll be out of school for a year, so my grace period will be over next Feb if I graduate in August. I have a bit of CC debt accumulated because of the frozenness of my checking account in January (I couldn't touch it because I was waiting for my school loan check and had to pay my bills). Not to mention, I had to buy new furniture (Ex-BF took all his when he moved out).

I need to file my taxes- my entire return is going to the CC. It's kind of sad, but it was the plan from the minute I put a $500 IKEA charge on it. haha. Still, $500 to furnish an apartment aint bad. I want to eliminate the bulk of my CC debt by the end of the summer. I've got about $2700 on it now. After the CC is paid off, it's on to the student loans. I'm not even sure what those numbers look like now, but pretty soon here I'm going to have to look.

In the meantime I'll be looking at grad schools, etc. So much excitement! And living in Ohio with BF/friends/Mom (who is now in the middle of the divorce proccess).

In good news, I used my national city points to get a $50 American Eagle giftcard. I thought about using it for something practical, but I know me... not only are spring and summer coming up, but a beach vacation and my birthday in May as well. I'm going to want to buy clothes. Better than putting them on my CC! haha.

And it's going to be a no-spend day Smile I was going to buy a book on amazon, but I decided instead to get it from the library. Yay for free!

Well, off to do homework. Everyone have a great day!

So many changes all the time...

March 8th, 2008 at 10:25 am

Hmm. It seems every time I get on here there's some new dramatic change in process. Well, not too much this time.

That roommate never did move in, so I'll still be living alone til my lease is up. Lucky for me, though, its up May 1! So I've only got 2 more months in this apt.

I'll be moving back to Ohio that week. Living with BF for the time being. His lease is up in August, then I'll move into my own apt likely and he'll live with me until he's deployed in january. Then it's a year of BF in Iraq.

I'll either be graduating this summer or in the fall. I have to talk to my university about transfer credits, but if I can get all the classes I want transferred over, I'll be living in Ohio for the next year. Which is what I want to do. I cant go to grad school until next fall (not this coming), so I'll get a job or an internship, make some money. And apply to grad schools.

I have a couple of those in mind too, but I'm not done researching. I'm taking my GRE this may, so I'm studying for that on top of the work I'm already doing. It's going to be a loong next few months.

I'm also trying to get a head start on organizing/packing my things for the move. I dont want to put it off to the last minute, especially considering I'm supposed to be moving during finals week!

Regardless of all this, life is exciting. Unbearably busy, but exciting. Spending has been a little too loose, but that's something I'm used at this point (unfortunately) and need to really start cracking down on. I always forget how expensive being in a relationship is. lol. BF and I had a good talk this week about finances though, and we both agree we need to start spending less. It was actually the first time we talked about our bills/finances/etc. I mean, we've talked about money, but we didn't really know how eachother stood-- debt wise, etc. It's a good conversation to have, though, if we're going to be living together before long.

It seems like things are happening awfully fast. I'm so incredibly happy though. Actually, depsite the fact that I'm absolutely swamped with school work and graduation stuff, I'm the happiest I've ever been. Except BF could be here... I usually spend the weekends with him because he works and I have class during the week and we live 2 hours apart. He's got this military training thing until easter though. Bummer. At least I have a little more time to get work done!

Oh, and today is a no-spend day! yay!