<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
Layout:
Home > Archive: May, 2008
 

Archive for May, 2008

Birthday Fun

May 30th, 2008 at 02:17 pm

So yesterday was a good day. After getting home from class, BF showed up with a couple pretty-wrapped gifts for me: A sewing machine (eep!), a cool sewing accessory kit, and 2 gift certificates-- $35 to Pat Catan's and $35 to Michael's. It's safe to say my crafting needs are covered for a while. I may even use the $ to make myself something Smile

He says he has another present for me, but he's saving it for "Tara day," or tomorrow, the day we're celebrating my b-day just the two of us. He really went above and beyond and did more than I had expected by far. He's such a sweetie though.

We went to dinner last night, got some appetizers and baklavah to go. Then we went out with friends and had some drinks. That was a lot of fun.

I worked today and made a decent amount of money. Tonight BF and I are going to Columbus to eat mongolian BBQ and go to my friend's going away party. Tomorrow we're going to hang out in the Short North Art District, as long as weather permits. Tomorrow night we'll probably hang out with friends of ours. Sunday night mom wants to celebrate my birthday with me.

So it'll be a long and eventful weekend. And it's started so well! I'm having a wonderful birthday, despite being sick. I'm feeling a little better. Let's hop things look even better in the next few days Smile

It's my birthday :)

May 29th, 2008 at 02:11 pm

Well, it's my birthday. I'm now 22 (still a baby). I feel much more like an adult at 22 than I did at 21... I guess that's the only difference.

As for today? BF has been wonderful in just making my comfortable-- which is a godsent because I'm still a bit sick. The boss let me work an hour and a half today. I only made $10, but the restaurant was slow. Got a response to my craigslist ad about the microwave, and someone is coming to pick it up today.

I've got class in an hour, and then tonight I'm going out for a little bit, despite this continuing cold. I dont see it being a late night, but I cant stand the thought of staying at home for my birthday. This weekend is going to be great, though. I work tomorrow, but then BF and I are going to Columbus for the night. A friend of mine is having a big going-away party, then we're staying in town on saturday to celebrate my b-day just the 2 of us. Should be fun.

Sunday I believe I'm celebrating my birthday with mom Smile

May totals (for the most part) in.

May 28th, 2008 at 11:45 am

I feel a little better than I did yesterday, but I was still so sick I couldn't work. My boss doesn't particularly like his servers sneezing/coughing all over people's food (can you blame him?) The downside is that I'm out 2 days' of tips, which stinks.

I didn't have any projects to work on today, though i've thought about a few I may start soon. I really need to get a sewing machine...

A few things I did do today, however, included:

*Signing up for pinecone.
*Signing up for mysurvey.
*Listing my microwave on craigslist.
*Listing a few more books on amazon.
*Updating my myspace music page and listing an ad looking for a guitarist to work with.
*Setting up a paypal account.
*Figuring out my may expenditures.
*Doing my June Budget and goals.

So the day wasn't a complete waste, it just feels like a big heap of bad news. I figured out how much debt I have as of today, and the numbers are not pretty. Granted, they're about the same as they were last month, but still, that's not good news.

I've decided that this month I need to find a different lender to get my student loan for classes this summer. I would have to figure out part of the balance anyway, but if the interest rate is lower than that of my CC (which it will likely be), it's smarter for me to use the money I'm saving to pay off my CC rather than using it to pay part of my school costs.

So here is the rundown for May. The first number is how much I budgeted, the second was how much I actually spent:

Rent: 0.00/0.00
Electric: 20.00/8.56
Gas: 50.00/67.14
Internet: 65.00/32.82
Sprint: 67.00/100.18
BC: 30.00/52.26
Bus: 20.00/0.00
Groceries: 60.00/62.28
Travel: 20.00/10.67
Food on Campus/at work: 15.00/13.25
Clothes: 10.00/3.40
Entertainment: 40.00/44.50
Misc: 25.00/78.17

Overall I was only $51.23 over budget, which really isn't all that bad considering the areas where I mostly "went over budget" were things like my gas bill and phone bill. I just need to watch my minutes this month and get a different (cheaper) perscription. I went high in the misc category because I bought my bike this month ($30) and had to get it fixed a couple times.

June is going to be even less spendy. BF will be out of town for most of the month doing silly military stuff. so I'll have less pressure to want to go out and do stuff. I'm just fine with staying at home and crafting, reading, or other fun, cheap/free activities. Also, I dont have any utilities or rent to pay this month or next, because BF doesn't let me pay anything.

I do want to have a yardsale at some point this month, and I see a great opportunity coming up soon, so I need to start rounding my stuff up. I think a lot of the books that wouldn't really sell for anything on amazon I'll put out for a couple bucks each. At least then I'll get more than a few pennies out of them.

I need to go to the bank here at some point. I have that $100 check to deposit, as well as a little bit of cash. I wish I had worked the last couple days. I'd have a little more to put in my account. sigh. I need to mail my last check to verizon and transfer some of the money into my emigrant account. My stimulus check is supposed to be deposited by saturday, so let's hope it gets there!

Hope everyone has a great day!

Funky "Tee-shirt" Scarf.

May 27th, 2008 at 07:35 pm

Well, I took advantage of this sick day and finished my first project, took pictures of it, and stuck it up on my etsy page. So here it is:



I called it a "tee-shirt" scarf because the pink strip is actually strips of an old teeshirt that I cut and sewed together, then crocheted into it. Let me know what you guys think! There's definitely more to come (not only in the way of scarves, but other things too). Also, check out my etsy and myspace pages and let me know what you think! Thanks guys!

www.reducereuserestyle.etsy.com

myspace.com/reducereuserestyle

p.s. Still feeling sick. Hope tomorrow gets better!

It sucks when you cant afford to be sick...

May 27th, 2008 at 03:55 am

So my 3-day weekend was alright... until yesterday, when a nasty little sore throat popped up. That little sore throat turned into a bigger sore throat today, and I feel not so great. I think I can sit through my classes, but I sound awful when I talk, and I'm sure my employer doesn't want me coughing all over peoples' food. The sad truth really is that I cant afford to not work. So I have no idea what I'm going to do.

I'm hoping that it gets a little better over the next few hours. Sickness always seems to be worse when you just wake up. Who knows, in the next few hours it could get a little better. I'm going to hold out until my morning class is over, maybe take a hot shower, drink more tea, gargle salt water, probably take some cold medicine.

This really is a letdown. I hope it ends soon. If it ends up spanning through the week I could be in big trouble. ugh. Not only may I have to take a couple days off work, but it's my birthday on thursday. While I dont have any plans made yet, I was intending to, and that could be ruined by this nasty cold. I guess we'll see.

The weekend was rather inexpensive. Aside from spending $10 at the grocery store, I didn't spend a dime. It's looking like it's going to be a similar situation this week. I just hope I'll be making money as well as saving it... sigh.

Hope everyone has a great day. I'm going to try and get through mine.

Saying "no" is so much easier when you're not alone.

May 25th, 2008 at 08:25 pm

I would consider myself among the many, many people in this country that have a real problem saying "no" when it comes to spending money. I am also among those who for the most part live above thier means.

I'm happy to say that I'm getting a bit better considering recent events, leading me to have to save an almost impossible sum. But I have noticed that it's a lot easier when my significant other is in the same boat, and much more important in the long run.

I fall into this trap because BF's funds are still "other" than mine. If I cant afford to go out to dinner and he can, he'll pay. But in the long run, if we get married, things wont be quite the same. It will still be "our" money being spent, so letting him spend money on things we dont really need isn't very productive either. Now, I dont intend on controlling my boyfriend's spending, even when he is my husband. But I do think it is important to be on the same page, and I certainly think it's easier to say "no" when you're not alone.

BF and I are both pretty broke right now, and as I mentioned, I'm finding it pretty easy to say "no" when a friend asks us to go out. Instead I opt to stay in and spend time. BF is doing the same. This is the first time that I've ever said that I'm "not going to spend any money on anything I dont need" and really followed through with it. I think that is in part due to the fact that I'm not the only one saying "no."

But I've realized that it really isn't all that bad to live at my means, or perhaps even a little below in order to do what is important and better for me in the long run. I've always been fairly frugal, but cutting out most of the "wants" to get to just the "needs" has been a refreshing situation. I know what is really important now, and not going out to dinner 2 nights a week, or buying clothes at the mall, or those other silly things that we all spend money on isn't sorely missed. I can do without and still be happy.

Now, I just have to make sure BF sees it so that when he doesn't necessarily have to say no, he'll still be able to Smile

Day 2 of 3-day weekend.

May 25th, 2008 at 07:49 am

I'm doing really good. Yesterday I went to mom's and did laundry, and took some of her lasagne home with me Smile She always makes it in big batches and gives me a bunch. So that was dinner/breakfast.

Yesterday was a good mail day. I got a letter from the IRS saying I should get my $300 stimulus check by 5/30. I also got the check for proofreading that paper. And bills usually aren't good news, but this one happened to be half the cost I thought it was going to be, so it was definitely good news.

A couple friends came over last night and we had a couple drinks and watched TV. The only spending I did was on a bottle of ginger ale to do a little mixing Smile

Today we're going over to BF's twin's house. He has some stuff he needs to help him with. That means I get to see the adorable baby (BF's niece) for a bit. Tonight is a cookout at BF's parent's. I think I'm going to make potato salad to bring over. We have just about everything we need except celery and an onion, but those aren't going to cost us hardly anything.

So it sounds like it's going to be a good day! I hope everyone else's is as well!

Day 1 of 3-day weekend.

May 24th, 2008 at 07:58 am

So yesterday BF came home (which was awesome). We went to the grocery store and craft store, then went home. I dipped some pretzels and strawberries to bring to my friend's art show. We stopped at Panera on the way home, BF bought.

The art show was nice. Not very big, but the art was wonderful. I was really impressed. We stopped at a park on the way home to play for a bit. No cost there Smile We were going to rent a movie, but we forgot to stop and figured we had plenty we could watch. I ended up falling asleep during "Open Season" anyway. haha.

Today is the first day of my glorious 3-day weekend. I slept in a bit, then got up and did a survey on lightspeed panel. Got me 300 points. Woo! I stopped at the craft store and picked up the yarn I needed at Pat Catan's, which ended up running me less than $5, so I was pretty excited. I'm thinking I may try to finish my project today. I really wanted to start planting, but I'm beginning to think it may be an expensive endeavour. So we'll see...

If I am going to start planting, I'd have to do it today. It's pretty late in the season already. Regardless, I'd like to finish my project today. I have much more sewing of fabric and crocheting to do. BF is away running errands and such. I'm suspicious that he's also getting me a birthday present. tee hee.

At some point I want to do some laundry-- probably at mom's, though BF said he wanted to go to his twin's. That means we'll probably be having dinner over there, which is wonderful.

I guess we'll see. I'm not sure exactly what the day holds in store for me, but I do know that I feel pret-ty relaxed.

Oh, in other news, I got paid yesterday-- $170. Woo! I also made a decent amount in tips, about $53, which aint bad at all for a lunch shift.

Now I just need to take a trip to the bank so I can transfer some of that into my emigrant account. Still waiting on my stimulus payment. Where in the world is it?? $100 check for proofreading is still in the mail.

Everyone have a great day!

Looking forward to my 3-day weekend.

May 23rd, 2008 at 05:22 am

Well, BF comes home today (he was in PA all week long), which is quite exciting Big Grin

I have no class today, which is a relief. I got to sleep in all the way to 8:00! Spent about an hour and a half working on my current project. It's coming along really nicely. I'm pretty excited about it.

I got a birthday card from grandma with $20 inside Smile I'm going to use that to go to the craft store this weekend. I told BF I wanted a sewing machine for my b-day. If he doesn't get me one, I'll have mom get it. I really need one right now, and I'd rather get a gift that will "keep on giving," so to speak, than just money-- because I can use the sewing machine to make things that could potentially draw me more income.

I transferred $200 to my emigrant account, which is the account I'm using to hold my tuition savings money. So I'm up to $349.36. A long way off from $3707, but it's a start! I should be getting that $100 check in the mail here soon. The money for the book I just sold should also be transferred into my account sometime within the next week, so that'll be a little more.

I'm really looking forward to this 3-day weekend. I have a couple places to run today-- the craft store, somewhere to pick up seeds and soil, and the grocery store to pick up some stuff to bring to my friend's art show tonight. I'm going to go to aldi and see what is the best priced, but I'm thinking stuffed cherry tomatoes, or perhaps little brushetta toasts. I'm going to look through one of my cookbooks and see if I cant find anything else. I was thinking of maybe bringing dessert rather than food. I could pick up a small bag of melting chocolate and do some pretzels. Maybe a package of strawberries as well. That would go well with wine. We shall see...

Mom wants to go out dancing tonight, but that's still up in the air. I'm really trying to avoid going to the bar more than once this weekend, as funds are disasterously low. At least with the bar I usually go to no one actually shows up til almost 1am, which gives me plenty of time to have a couple beers at home before going, and I dont feel ashamed to have water the whole time I'm there. I'll be dancing Smile

So, things I want to get done this weekend:

-Go to craft store.
-Go to get soil/seeds.
-Start planting.
-Finish current project.
-Start on next project.

Seems rather managable. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Chugging along.

May 22nd, 2008 at 11:58 am

Well, I stopped at mom's last night and picked up the supplies I needed. I may have to stop by the craft store and pick up a few more things this weekend, but it shouldn't be too much. I've started my first project. Photos will come when it is finished.

I had class this morning, then work. I made more at work today than I did the rest of the week, so I was happy about that. I stopped at the bank on the way home, just copied out my packaging slip, and I'm on to mom's house to wrap up my book, then to the post office to ship it. Finally, I need to stop at the grocery store to pick up a couple things. But I'm leaving it at the bare minimum.

I haven't really spent any money all week, which is good. I'm supposed to hang out with a friend of mine tonight. I think we're watching a movie at her place, so that shouldn't cost me anything. I'm going to a coworker's art show tomorrow night and offered to bring some sort of food. I'm going to go back to the grocery store tomorrow and figure out what I want to bring. Something cheap. She's supplying some food, and wine. So I felt like it would be nice to bring something.

As for the rest of the weekend, I need to keep it low-key, despite having a 3-day weekend. I want to get some seeds, as I want to start planting my tomatoes and zuchinni. It's already late in the season, but considering how cold it's been, I'm not sure it would have made much of a difference anyway.

Well, I'm off to mom's. Perhaps I'll gank some food while I'm there Smile

Hope everyone has a great day!

Financial world turned upside-down part 2

May 21st, 2008 at 04:12 am

Well, first and foremost I want to thank everyone for the kind and encouraging words. I can definitely use any spirit anyone wants to throw at me Smile Some responses to some of the questions, though:

I did talk to the financial aid office. The problem is that my home school in PA doesn't do any type of student aid during the summers, so that's a no-go. I would take a lesser courseload this semester, but if I did I would have to move back to PA and it would end up being much more costly, because the tuition at the university I'm attending now is half the cost of my home instiution (which is a private university). Not to mention, the cost of living out there is far more expensive than here.

As far as the CC is concerned, it will absolutely be last resort. I hope to apply for a couple more loans before my July 11 deadline, but in the case that I dont get approved for these either, I want to have as much money saved up as possible. If I do get approved? I'm putting all the saved money toward my CC to pay it off, because the interest is likely higher than any loan I would be approved for.

If I couldn't get approved for a loan with my mom as a co-signer, I'm fairly certain they wouldn't approve her for a PLUS loan, so unfortunately that idea is out. Besides, my mom doesn't want another loan. She has plenty of her own! haha.

Yes, yes it is a lot of money to come up with in a short amount of time. But I cant think in "what if I dont come up with the money" terms. I need to make/get the money. Period. If I cant it means really crappy consequences. Such as moving back to PA, and possibly not being able to get the financing in the fall for the remainder of my classes, which would be catastrophic. I'm only taking one class in the fall, which means my tuition, even though it will be through my home institution, will be a fraction of what I would spend on an entire semester. I'll have stafford loans in the fall that I'll get from the government, so I should have no problem paying for it. It's this semester that is the problem. If I cant take these classes this semester, I'll have to take them in the fall, and I certainly wont be able to $10k in the fall if I cant come up with $4k this summer.

debtfreeme-- I was thinking about continuing the editing. How did you get notice? Did you advertise? Post on craigslist? Etc? Just curious.

frugaltexan--I could do a market research group, but considering my aversion to needles, plasma donating is not in the cards. lol. Even though there's a center right down the street... I'm definitely cutting back on groceries (and everything else) for the time being.

Now, that all being said...

I sold a book on amazon. Yay! I made $14.40, which will be more like $11 after shipping costs. Every little bit helps!

I also finished proofreading and editing that paper last night. 58 pages, but my $100 check will be in the mail today according to my friend, so I should be getting that fairly soon.

Yesterday was a no-spend. I'm not going to track money associated with these anymore because basically all my money is going into my savings for the time being.

I also spent some time last night in adobe photoshop and indesign coming up with an identity for this crafting/selling I want to do. I opened up an etsy shop and made a myspace page that both (I think) look pretty good. Now I just need to make some stuff and list it. I'll be stopping by mom's tonight to pick up some yarn, and possibly the sewing machine. If nothing else, some sewing supplies. I have an idea for the first peice I want to make. Time to get started on it.

If anyone wants to check the myspace page and let me know what you think of how it looks, that would be great. I designed the logo and the banner. Blood, sweat, and tears!

www.myspace.com/reducereuserestyle

Everyone have a great day!

Financial world turned upside-down.

May 20th, 2008 at 11:37 am

Well, I've had quite the stressful week. As mentioned previously, Sallie Mae would not approve me for the loan to take summer classes. Not even with mom as cosigner. So then we come to the first day of classes. The university dropped all of them. So I had to go re-enroll in all of them. Sigh.

The good news is that I'm enrolled in classes. The bad news is that I need to come up with $3707 by July 11. Some can go on the CC, but I max out with another $1000 or so. BF and mom both said they would help as much as they can. BF mentioned he had an empty CC we could put some of the balance on, but that would be a last resort measure.

I'm going to do it somehow, it's just a big bummer that I have to put more on the CC. I really wanted to pay it down, not rack more up. And I'm a little worried about the interest payments once it is up there. I'm already paying a little over $50 in interest a month as is. Seems as if I need to start fundraising asap.

If anyone has any ideas, let me know!

I'm not making nearly enough at work to put any considerable dent in it, so I really need to focus on saving as much as I can and finding more sources of income. As it is, I really dont have time to work a second job and go to school. In the fall I'll have time to get a second job, but right now there's no possible way. I'm thinking now is the time to start listing as many books as I'm willing to part with on amazon, get rid of anything in the house I dont really need that could bring me in some cash, and start crocheting/crafting up a storm and start attempting to sell things online.

I picked up some books at the library yesterday. I got a crocheting book, a candlemaking book, a beading book, and a book on making chinese knots. I wanted to get some inspiration. I have a whole huge box of yarn and such that my grandma gave me at my mom's. My mom also said that I could have my other grandma's sewing machine. So I've got some stuff to start with. I was thinking of starting an etsy shop, I'd really like to sell with a theme of recycling. I think I can make it work pretty well. I'm fairly creative. Besides, it gives me a reason to reuse some of the things people would ordinarily throw away, and get cheap supplies (thrift stores, garage sales, etc) as well as crafting supplies that may be a bit pricier.

Ideas are still in the works.

But all that being said, my financial world has more or less been turned upside-down, and the goals are a bit different now. My challenge money is really my college money at this point, my goal is a bit different, and focus is now away from paying off the CC, and now to paying my summer classes off. The good news is that the more I save the less I have to put on my CC, so I have quite the incentive.

As a start, I'm proofreading a paper of a friend of a friend that is paying me $100 to go through and correct her 55 page master's thesis. It's a start. Also, I didn't buy any food from work today. I ate my pb&j and thought, "wow, this sandwich tastes like my education. definitely a hint of western civ in here..." haha.

Every little bit helps. Wish me luck.

Having to work some magic... sigh.

May 19th, 2008 at 04:14 am

So I went over to mom's yesterday and we added her as a cosigner on my student loan. Still no approval. Sigh. It's really strange to me that Sallie Mae has approved me for $30k in loans over the past few years on a standalone basis, but when I try to get a loan for only $4k, I cant even get approved with a cosigner. So I'm not exactly sure how I'm going to pay for classes this summer.

What worries me more is that the same thing might happen in the fall. The only good thing is that I'm only taking one class at my university, rather than a whole semester- which means a fraction of the cost of my private school education. With my stafford loans I should be able to cover most of it. That bridge will be crossed when I come to it, however. I need to start worrying about now.

So what to do? The only thing I can really do right now is go on the payment plan. That means a downpayment of $200, which isn't so bad, but then only 2 payments of the rest- which means 2 payments of $1754... over the next 3 months... I haven't sat down to figure out the numbers yet, but it's pretty clear that there's no way I'm going to be able to come up with almost $2k each month.

I can max out my CC for the first payment, and it'll cover most of it. The downpayment I can do out of pocket. It's just getting to the second payment that is going to be tricky, but I still have some numbers to work through, and mom and BF both said they would help as much as they can.

Either way, I have to go attend this class. I better appreciate it this time. It's going to be a royal pain in the butt to get it paid for, and it's not going to be just signed off on a loan I dont have to think about until graduation. Bah.

School starts tomorrow.

May 18th, 2008 at 10:28 am

Today is my day off. School starts tomorrow, so it's going to be a hectic schedule all week. I have class 8:00-9:30am, then work from 10:30-2:30pm, then school again from 6:00-8:00pm. Bah. At least I live close to campus.

BF and I rode our bikes to his parent's house, then went to breakfast with his sister. We're going over to his brother's house this evening for dinner. I was hoping to do some laundry at some point, might take it over there. Or I could just suck it up and do it here later. I've only got about one load I need to get done by tomorrow. Maybe if we get done with dinner early enough I can swing by mom's and do it there, and get the loan stuff all taken care of. That may be something to think about.

Work last night was long. I really dont care for working dinner shifts. I make more money, but really not that much more that I believe it's worth being out that late. I was exhausted last night, and I still only made $50. That's really not that great for a saturday night dinner shift. I made almost $40 the other day at lunch. The good news is that this week I'm working all lunch shifts, mon-fri. So I have my saturday off Smile That'll be nice. 2 days in a row off. Mmmm. I may have to make a visit out to PA. Maybe.

I need to go to the bank tomorrow. And to the library. I have to return some books. I have to pick up the one that mom borrowed, though. It'll be no problem.

I have to buy some of my books tomorrow for the classes that start. I can pick up the rest later in the summer when they start. I think I'm going to put them on my CC for now. Until mom and dad give me some money. It's really great that they're paying for my books. I think this is only the second time, but it's so nice of them.

At any rate, I think I'm going to go take a nap before we head over to BF's brother's. Everyone have a great sunday!

Tra-la-la. I'm lacking in creative titles ;)

May 17th, 2008 at 07:53 am

Well, yesterday I called mom and she said she would co-sign. She got approved to buy a car last week, so I imagine her credit will be good enough to make me eligible for the loan. So this weekend or monday we're going to take care of that.

I worked the patio bar last night (bartending). It went well. I'm a novice bartender, but the selections we had were far lesser than the ones in the main bar downstairs, so I did okay. It wasn't very busy, but the regular that was there kept giving me $5 tips on his drinks and buying everyone at the bar (the whole 5 of them) drinks, so I ended up making about $51 for the night. Not bad for how dead it was. I expect it to get much better.

After work I didn't go out. BF and our friends met me there and we had a drink before I went home and crashed. I was quite sleepy.

Today is my little sister's 14th birthday party out at the campsite. That's at 2, and should be fun. I have work again at 6:30 tonight. I'm looking forward to my day off tomorrow. I feel like I've been working my butt off this week.

My friend sent me her friend's paper to proofread, so I'll probably spend the better part of tomorrow doing that. Not sure how she's going to pay me, but I'm sure we can figure something out. I started skimming it, and it's not nearly as bad as she played it up to be. When she said that she made lots of mistakes because she was foreign, I expected a really intense job. But from what I've seen, she writes very intelligently, and very well. I dont imagine it to be very difficult. Seems it's going to be an easy $100 Smile

Well, I better get going. I've got to get ready for this party!

Stupid Loans.

May 16th, 2008 at 01:23 pm

Well, I went and got that class changed yesterday, so my schedule is all set. But I had to call Sallie Mae today to see about getting a loan for my summer classes. Here I thought there would be no problem. But apparently I'm unable to get a loan without a cosigner now. I dont really understand why. I have up until this point (though I'm paying for it dearly with ridiculous interest rates). This really sucks, because I dont have a cosigner. Mom would do it, but I know her credit is terrible, so I dont understand how that would help me. So I need to figure out a cosigner, or I need to put the first half of the cost on my CC and come up with another $1753.45 by mid July. Not going to be an easy task... I'll just have to talk to mom and see what we can do.

I also priced my books today. Depending on whether or not I can get them used, they'll run me anywhere from $327-$436. Mom and dad both offered to buy the books, so I'm going to have to take them up on that offer.

I worked the lunch shift today. I'm supposed to go in again later at 7:30 to do the dinner shift. I hope I make more tonight than I did this morning...

Seems I should be a little tighter on the budget even more than expected. This money stuff really bugs me sometimes. Sigh.

On the upside, BF came home last night and was totally surprised and super happy because I cleaned and reorganized the apartment. I got a lot done, and I was really excited to have more counterspace and be able to see both the bedroom AND living room floors Smile

Welp, gonna go take a nap before my next shift. Hope everyone has a great night!

Day off

May 15th, 2008 at 05:58 am

Well, yesterday was a NSD. So that's $3 more to add to my challenge money (because I resisted buying food at work). That brings me to $152.36.

Last night mom had BF and me meet her out at the bar. She wanted to buy me a drink and hang out a bit. She had me stop at the house on the way home. I had more mail and she left me a surprise there! I've been talking about doing some gardening-- in containers, but gardening nonetheless. So while she was out shopping she found a little pail and these reusable plant markers that she left with some lipgloss on the table next to my mail. My mommy is so great Smile

I made really decent money yesterday at work. $44.62-- not bad for a wednesday lunch shift. I did stay a little later than usual, though. The other girl wanted to go home. I wanted to make money. So it worked out. lol.

I stopped at the bank after work and made a deposit, then paid my cell bill online :/ It was a little more than I was expecting. I have to watch my minutes this month. Lucky for me, next month I'll be cancelling my service with sprint (my contract is up June 25) and getting a phone on my mom's verizon plan. Mom and BF are both verizon, so I'd be talking to the 2 people I talk to the most for free. I might just share my sister's plan for the moment because she doesn't really use hers. She just has a phone for emergencies and so my parents can get a hold of her, but they're on verizon too, so it doesn't use the minutes up. It would only run me $20/month with text messaging.

Today I have the day off, and it looks really nice outside. I need to go down to the university and change one of my classes, then pick up a summer loan app. My FAFSA was processed as of this morning, so they'll be getting thier info here soon.

I'm getting lunch with a friend I haven't really sat down and caught up with for a while. So I'm kind of excited about that. I also want to clean the apt up a little more. BF put pork in the crock pot, so it's looking like dinner at home Smile

Not sure what is going on tonight. BF is staying in because he has a bunch of work to get done. There's a party I may go to, or I could just go down and dance at the bar down the street. There's also karaoke with my friends, if they're going. So I have options Smile I generally dont drink much when I'm doing karaoke (cause I like to sing better, I drink water), so that may be the best of options. Especially if I'm driving there. We shall see, I suppose.

Hope everyone has a great day!

Quite productive.

May 13th, 2008 at 02:23 pm

So I emailed my mom all the info I needed from her to file my FAFSA. By the time I got home from work, she had sent me everything I needed. So I got that checked off the list.

Work was decent. I made $27.71 and did NOT get a sandwich while I was there, which means I get to put $3 toward my challenge money today. Woo! That puts me at $149.36.

I rode my bike to mom's and got that check, as well as wrapped up the book I had sold on amazon. Then I rode to the post office. I rode back to the bank, but it was closed. I'll have to stop by tomorrow and make my deposit.

It's funny riding my bike around. I keep getting all these scrapes and scratches (mostly from trying to carry it up stairs), I feel like a kid again Smile It's absolutely gorgeous out today, it was the perfect temperature to be riding around for a couple hours-- and it feels good, though my bum and knees and hands hurt. lol.

BF is on his way home. We're going to make dinner. Not sure what yet, but we'll be making something. We put out a pork loin to defrost for tomorrow. Think we're going to throw it in the crock pot.

Just have to stop at the university here in the next couple days and re-register for that class and fill in that summer loan app. Lucky for me the due date is June 2. That'll give me a little time for my FAFSA to process. I do need to price those books, though, and re-register for that class in the next couple days.

Either way, hope everyone has a great night!

Pretty day :)

May 13th, 2008 at 04:55 am

Well, this week seems to be going very well thus far, though I haven't really gotten a whole lot done. We need to change that today. I've got a few things I need to do at the university-- namely registering for a class, because apparently the computer doesn't register that I meet the prereq. Ah well.

I have to [finally] file my FAFSA, which means I have to get mom's info too. I also have to put in a summer loan application.

It's my little brother's 20th birthday today, have to give him a call.

I also need to mail that book that I sold on amazon, after looking through it and copying a few recipes Smile

Mom called yesterday and said what was left of my safety deposit came in the mail ($40ish). They use part of it to clean the carpet, and it was only $100 to begin with, so it's not that much, but the carpet really needed cleaned.

I should probably run by the bank at some point too Smile

I've got work from 10:30am-2:30ish. I'll have to do all this after work, but it really works out because it's supposed to be beautiful today, and I'd love to ride my bike around for a good part of the day.

Last night was fun. BF and I went over to his twin brother's to make ribs and hang out. Got to visit with the baby (BF's neice, she's 6 months. ADORABLE). Ended up staying a little late, but I was so tired from the food and the couple beers that I had that I ended up falling asleep on the couch about 10pm. Good time though, and great food. I paid for the beer we brought over, only because BF paid for all the groceries he bought the other day. Tonight we'll probably make dinner here at home.

Speaking of being "home," things are starting to shape up here at the apartment. There still needs to be a considerable amount of unpacking, and some moving of stuff to my mom's, but aside from that, there's a lot more room in the apt.

Hoping today will be a NSD. Just have to resist those sandwiches at work! It's so hard having so little willpower. That's it. If I have a NSD today, I'm going to put $3, not $1 into my challenge money (that's how much I would spend on a sandwich at work anyway).

Anyhoo. I should get this day started. Everyone have a good one!

First (real) week of April

May 12th, 2008 at 06:08 am

Well, this weekend was a little spendy. Yesterday for mother's day me and the sibs went to lunch with mom and grandma. Me and big bro paid for the meal-- though my $14 was puny compared to the rest of it! Then me, mom, and grandma went paint shopping and house shopping. Mom signed a lease on an apt, so she'll start moving in next month. While we were at bed, bath, and beyond, I found a bathroom carrier thing that I bought for my stuff in the tiny little bathroom I've got now. None of my stuff has a place :/

Saturday night was pretty crappy at work. I got there at 5:00pm. I didn't have one table for 3 hours, and ended up being one of the last people cut. Just kind of worked out like that. I didn't complain really, which was good because the girl that was complaining got sent home (thus why I was cut after her), and the owner and the manager were not too impressed with her attitude. I did what I could to help and keep busy. The worst part about it though was that I only made $43 for the whole shift, which was 7 hours long :/ I guess you win some, you lose some. It just wasn't busy at the restaurant. I'm counting on this week to be better.

Total made at work this week: $157.72. This is something that I can survive on, but I'm still counting on it getting better.

As far as spending, I'm only over budget on my "Misc" category-- mostly due to my bike and the 2 repairs. I also put the restaurant cost on mother's day and the bathroom carrier in this category. So I'm $50 over budget in that category. But I haven't spent a dime in my grocery or "bus" category. BF went grocery shopping the other day without me. I'm going to ask if he wants a few bucks, but odds are he wont accept any money from me.

I sold another book on amazon yesterday. I made $10.15 on it. That will get split between my challenge money and CC. Which reminds me, I have to pay off what I put on my CC for my most recent bike repair ($7.43). That's not going to count toward my CC payments for the month, because I really didn't want to use it.

Did laundry yesterday at mom's. And cooked dinner for the family. All no-cost. Love it Smile

So This week's goal evaluation:
[x] Keep track of all $ spent.
[x] Stay under budget (I am overall under budget still).
[x] Dont touch savings.
[ ] Dont use CC (though I'm going to pay it off this week).
[ ] Save $75 (not yet).
[ ] Pay off $150 on CC (not yet).
[ ] 3 NSD/week (I only had 1 this week).
[ ] 12 NSD in May (still only at 1).

So I've got work today at 10:30am. I'll ride my bike there, so I wont have to worry about parking meters, or gas for that matter (not that it's really all that much, but I'm looking forward to riding my bike).

When I get home I need to start filing my FAFSA. I should have had it in a while ago... I also need to print off an application for a summer loan, and go switch one of my classes. Finally, I need to price my books. Class starts next week! Eek! It's gonna get busy!

In other news, Mom is giving me her sewing machine. Very cool. I need to go get it, and take a look through the crocheting box.

Well, time to get this day started! Hope everyone has a good one!

Bought a bike :)

May 9th, 2008 at 06:26 am

I've been thinking about buying a bike for a long time now (that's a bicycle, not a motorcycle). I wanted an easier way to get around and be friendly to the environment (and my body!). I've been driving BF's car, but I'd rather not, if not just for the cost of gas. Every little bit saved helps, you know.

So I was talking to one of the girls I work with about it because she rides her bike to work everyday. Then she said she had an extra one laying around that she would sell to me really cheap. So I took a look at it. It's a mountain bike. It had a pedal missing and was in dire need of some air. It had been sitting in her dusty basement for a while and was covered in cobwebs, but it seemed like a nice bike for $30. So I took her up on it.

I loaded it into the car and drove it to the bike shop by my apt. They put the pedal on-- which ended up being a pain for them because the threads weren't doing so good. I may have to get a new crank shaft eventually-- and aired it up. That cost me about $16 (for 2 pedals and labor). So overall the cost of the bike was $46. Really not all that bad, I think. And I'm sure I'll save a lot on gas and bus tickets-- and perhaps lose some weight! I just need a good bike lock. BF says he's got one he has to pick up at his parents' (where his bike is). He wont be using his to commute, so until we both go on a bike trip and both need to lock our bikes up, I'm going to hold off on buying one.

So the bike put me further over budget, but I'm really not too worried about it. It was a planned purchase, I just forgot to put it into my budget!

Last night I hopped over to the bar for a bit (it's right down the street) with $5 in my pocket. When I came home, that $5 was still there. I decided I was thirsty for water while dancing Smile Saw the ex and a bunch of his friends there. It's odd. Me and the ex can talk no problems, it's not hostile, but some of his friends in his presence will act so strange with me. It's quite awkward, and I dont really get it. If he's not there they act entirely normal. Eh. Silly people.

My stimulus payment was supposed to go through today, but I'm not sure if it's going to. It's not showing up in my online banking. I filed pretty late. Not quite to the 15th, but late nonetheless. So I'm guessing that's why I dont have it.

Next on the list? FAFSA. Yeah, that seems to get filed late every year... Have to dig out my tax info and get mom's for last year. Then I have to put in an application for a summer loan, or I'm not going to be able to take my classes. That would not be good.

Yesterday I listed 5 cookbooks on amazon. Let's see if anyone bites. Also, I got a message from a friend who has a foreign friend that needs someone to proofread a 60 page paper for her and make corrections. She's going to pay someone and $100 to do it, and I volunteered to be that person. Her paper is due the day I start classes, so it'll be perfect.

Other than that, I have no news. Today is day 4 of work. And I'm hoping to make some big $$. I'd have to make $51 in order to reach my goal tips for the week, but we'll see. I'm really hoping next week will be a little more lucrative.

3rd day of work [and other news]

May 8th, 2008 at 12:49 pm

Well, my 3rd day of work has come to a close. I didn't make very much yesterday, but I only got 2 of my own tables. Today I got the amount I was supposed to, but there were 3 of us working today (as opposed to 2 yesterday). So I'm remaining optimistic and thinking that it can only go up from here.

As for other financial news, I went and picked up my perscription today. I've had samples for the last 3 months or so, so this is the first time I've had to pay for it. $52! For one month of pills! I mean come on now. My last brand was only $25/month. I'm thinking I'm going to have to call my doctor and discuss my other options... or go to planned parenthood. lol.

So I'm a bit bummed because due to my gas bill and perscription cost both being higher than anticipated I'm already over budget $40 for May (in both categories, that is). Which means I'm going to have to cut back in other areas. Especially considering I'm likely not going to make the amount of money I needed to make this week to cover it. grr.

I think I'm going to list a couple more things on amazon. Finally going to get to my cookbooks. I've got 5 I'm going to list. I'll write the recipes I know I want to try down before I ship them out.

I'm on my way now to look at a bike. This girl I work with said she has an extra, and she'll sell it to me for really cheap. I want one to ride around for commuting purposes. I'd rather do that than use the gas in the car. Besides, it's better for the environment, and my body! So hopefully that'll work out.

Tonight BF is getting back a little late, and I'm going to try and have dinner ready when he gets home. He's been super stressed, but it seems like things are going to be different after talking to his boss-- which is a relief. We're going to try and get more done with the apt. Mom came by today and picked up one of my tables and 2 chairs. I'm hoping she'll give me a few bucks for them later on.

Right-o. Well, off to look at that bike!

First day of work.

May 7th, 2008 at 06:13 am

It went well. I went in at 4:30, left about 10:30, so I stayed 6 hours. I made $31 in tips. Which really isn't that great, but it had a lot to do with how they set it up. Basically a big party of firemen came in (they had thier convention at the restaurant), and there were 3 of us working the bar-- getting drinks, and then cleaning up after the guys. There were about 100 people or so. We split the tips. That was the $31. After that I spent the rest of the night following someone, and I didn't make any tips. However, I believe today that I'll be taking my own tables, and I'll make some money. Other than that, the people are nice. I think I'm going to enjoy working there Smile I just have to see how much money I'm making.

After work, the boss bought me a drink-- which was convenient because I was going out after I went home and changed. I only had a couple beers at the bar, then. I spent $11 at the bar (2 beers for me, one for a friend, plus $2 tip for the bartender). So I have $29 left in my entertainment fund for May.

I got a few things done yesterday, including disconnecting the internet service at my old apartment. I had forgotten when I moved back. Bummer. I'll be paying for about a week that I wasn't even there. My fault, though. I also had a perscription called in yesterday. I have to pick that up today.

I have work at 11:00am. Yesterday I drove, but today BF took the car because he had drill. It's close enough to walk, so I'm just going to do that. Besides, it saves me the parking meter rates. I paid $0.75 yesterday. And it's good exercise Smile

I want to look into buying good shoe inserts for work. My back, legs, and feet were killing me when I got off last night. I have to get used to being on my feet all the time again :/ Ah well, if it's bringing in cash I really cant complain.

Hope everyone has a good day!

May Goals and extra cashflow

May 5th, 2008 at 07:34 pm

Well. I've come up with my May goals:

*Keep track of all money spent.
*Stay under budget.
*Dont touch my savings (challenge money).
*Dont use credit card.
*Put at least $75 into challenge money.
*Pay at least $150 on my CC.
*Have 3 No-Spend days per week.
*Have 12 no-spend days in May.
*Look for new ways to bring in extra income.

Also, I set out a challenge for myself-- no buying books, movies, or CD's. For 3 months. So this is month #1.

I've been thinking about the extra cashflow... I started thinking about my cookbooks. I have a few really nice ones. The problem is that I never use them. And generally, if I find a recipe I really like, I just write it down in a notebook I keep specifically for this purpose. Now, there are a couple that I wouldn't part with because they are not just cookbooks (like the joy of cooking). But for all intents and purposes, I can check cookbooks out at the library. I can also take them into the cafe at barnes and noble and copy recipes out of them while I sip on tea (which I've done in the past). So I'm going to look into selling a few of the really nice ones I have (Paula Deen, Williams-Sonoma ones, Jamie Oliver, etc).

I plan to list my microwave on craigslist. We dont need 2. Mom is taking one of my tables and 2 chairs, and I think she's going to give me a little money for them. That will also clear up some space in our apt.

Also, I had mentioned the idea of doing more crocheting and crafting and possibly opening up an etsy shop. I picked up a few books from the library today on crafting to sell, being a "weekend entrepreneur," so we'll see if I get any other ideas.

Because I put half of extra income into my CC and half into my challenge money, I would need to make $150 in extra income to meet my goal. Or $126 if I meet my goal for No-spend days. I think this is do-able. So we'll see. Oh, and today was a NSD, so I'm on my way!

Either way, it's my bedtime! I have a busy day tomorrow. Going to do some cleaning and unpacking, and then I start my first day at the new job in the evening! Wish me luck!

Back from the Beach... starting may for real...

May 5th, 2008 at 09:19 am

Well, the beach was great! I have a crazy splotchy sunburn that makes me look like a disease, but other than that I arrive back in ohio unscathed. I just need to learn to apply sunscreen evenly Smile

Vacation was low-cost and definitely awesome. We laid out in the sun, walked on the beach, ate chili-cheese dogs, and went out dancing. Overall, a wonderful weekend. We did decide to come back a day early... as I was sunburnt and lacking energy, and mom wanted to get back as well.

But now I'm back and in the real world again Smile At the beach I finished the 2 books that I had checked out from the library, and mom is actually reading one of them now. I'm trying to help her out, give her some ideas to get her finances together. I'm even going to show her SA here in a bit!

I'm trying to find ways to pull in a little extra cash. I'm going to list anything I have that I dont need on amazon or ebay.

I was trying to think of hobbies that I can use to make money, and I think I'm going to start crocheting a bit more. I need to get a little better, but there's no reason why I cant have fun and get better at it, then maybe start an etsy shop like our other friend here on SA. I was looking at the events at the library, and at one of the local branches there's a knitting/crocheting group that meets once a week. I'm thinking of going. Could be really fun to meet some new people. Also, my grandma just gave me a huge box of crocheting stuff... yarn, needles, books. I still have to go look through it (it's at mom's), but I'm sure there's some stuff in there I can use.

Aside from that, I think pursuing music again would be a good idea. I'd love to join a band or start playing music solo again. I'll have a lot more time this summer and especially in the fall and spring.

I took a look at the expenses I pay on a regular basis, and what my problem areas are. And I've decided to start a challenge for myself. I want to go 3 months without buying any books, movies, or CD's for myself. Books are something that I spend a lot of money on. Much more than I should, and it's silly to buy them when the library has so many. So that's the challenge. I think I can cut down on at least $60 that way in the next 3 months.

I start work this week (tomorrow actually), so we'll see how things go! I'm pretty excited to start. I love starting new jobs. Hopefully I'll pull in a lot of money!

As for today? BF is at work until the evening. Then we're going to unpack and clean the apt. I'm sure we'll cook dinner. So it should be a NSD. I was thinking about running down to the library and I still have to go to the post office to put in my change of address form, which I unfortunately forgot when I went to mail that book I sold. ugh.

Well, I should probably get my day started!

Off to the beach! And looking back on April...

May 1st, 2008 at 03:06 pm

Well, I had quite the productive day. A few things that I unfortunately forgot to take care of, but no worries.

I woke up and drove back to Ohio. $1 for the tolls on the way back. No biggie. I got back to the apt and dug through my boxes for my finance stuff, and checkbook, which was quite a chore. haha. Still so much to be unpacked... I got my piggy out and pulled out some change. I also checked the balance of a visa giftcard that I got for xmas. It had $7.20 left on it, which was sweet. I used that and some change to pay for my big box of wine to bring on vacation. I'm not drinking expensive this weekend Smile haha.

I stopped at the library and checked out a few books. One on bartending (I need to refresh if I'm going to be working this job here next week), and 2 on finance: The Reader's Digest Penny Pincher's Almanac, and "Detox Your Finances." So I'll have some good reading by the pool this weekend Smile I figure because I paid that $26 library fine last week, I'm going to get my money's worth! lol.

I went to the bank and withdrew the money I needed for vacation this weekend, then hit the grocery store to buy the last thing on my shopping list (the wine), then I stopped at goodwill to drop off some clothes. They gave me a 20% off coupon for the store, which was great. I went in and found a couple of tank tops that I really liked. I ended up only spending $3.40. You really cant beat that. One was a plain pink tank top that would be really good for working out in, or just wearing. The other was a little dressier, that I can wear the pink top under. It was really cute. Old Navy. I'm sure it was like $20 when it was first put on the racks!

After goodwill, I went to the post office. I had to mail the book I sold on amazon. I unfortunately forgot to put in my address request form. I was a bit angry with myself for that. bah.

After that I went to the consignment shop and they took some of my clothes, so let's hope they sell! The rest they didn't take will also go to goodwill. I pride myself on NOT purchasing a dress that I found that looked great on me and was only $12. The tank tops were enough for one day.

After that I stopped at my mom's office. It seems her and my aunt are in a considerable spat. It's really quite drama-ridden, and I was sad to find out that even adults in thier 30's and 40's can be rather dramatic. I thought that died out back in the teen years... regardless, we're still going to the beach, but it's just me and mom now. We're staying in a nicer room, but paying less than we would have otherwise. I'm just giving what I have to mom and she said she would take care of anything else. So my vacation is going to run me about $225 altogether. Really not that bad. It should still be a really great time.

I had to stop and put some gas in the car. I didn't want to leave it on "E" for BF when he comes home on friday. That was $9.20.

So the day was a bit spendy, and I'm giving mom my entire remaining $200 tonight. But that's more or less a bargain for a vacation that's going to last 3 nights. We leave in a couple hours. We're driving all through the night. All I need to do is get packed and she's going to pick me up in a bit. I bought energy drinks at ALDI yesterday for super cheap. So hopefully they'll keep me awake!

Looking back on April, I did really poorly. I was waaay over budget... to the tune of $250. So I have to pay more attention and stretch a little more this month. The upside, however, is that I still managed to pay off $361.45 on my CC (after interest) and save $145.36 in Challenge money. So things aren't all bad. I just wish that $250 would have went to my CC or my challenge money! ha. Some of the money was worth the spending, some was not. But you win some, you lose some. May will be better Smile

I did, also, track every penny that was spent, so I met one of my goals Big Grin

At any rate, time to get going! Not sure if there will be internet at the hotel, but I'll definitely get a couple pictures up after I return on sunday! Everyone have a great weekend!