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Archive for January, 2007

So I guess we're going tomorrow...

January 31st, 2007 at 12:15 pm

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

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

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

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

$20 challenge and other adventures

January 30th, 2007 at 02:35 pm

So I must make this quick...

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

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

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

Challenge Total: $127.78

Recap and today!

January 29th, 2007 at 06:00 am

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

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

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

On the house...

January 27th, 2007 at 12:14 pm

...an expression that I like to hear!

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

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

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

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

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

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

They got her!

January 26th, 2007 at 12:52 pm

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

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

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

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

More biscotti!

January 24th, 2007 at 06:14 pm

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

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

$20 challenge and goal checkpoint

January 23rd, 2007 at 11:56 am

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

I've hit my goal!!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

January 22nd, 2007 at 12:53 pm

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

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

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

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

And it's done!

January 20th, 2007 at 11:40 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Busy busy!

January 19th, 2007 at 07:03 am

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

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

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

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

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

I did it!!!!

January 17th, 2007 at 06:58 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Total saved: $10.65

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