Tuesday, September 30, 2008

September Goal Review

My September goals . . .

1.) Increase net worth by $500. I believe I met this goal. My rough calculations show that I did. I will know for sure tomorrow though.

2.) Limit fun/extra/personal spending to $50. This includes any clothes. I did not succeed at this goal. I went over due to buying a pair of jeans and some dress pants. They were a great deal though. I went over by $14.

3.) Save $250 towards house down payment. This will be my first month of trying to set aside month specifically for a house down payment, so we will see how it goes. I did save $250. However, I think my savings strategy has to change. A house is just not in the plans right now. I am still going to save this amount each month, but for other purposes.

4.) Buy no personal hygiene or apartment related items. I have so much shampoo, toilet paper, dish soap, etc that I should not be buying anything like this! I did great on this one. I did not buy anything in this category.

5.) Study for career related exam at least 4 times each week. I have been putting this off. It's something that I really want to do, but take a lot of times and dedication which I have not been very good at lately. I was not successful at this one. I studied, but not as much as I would have liked. I hope that I can do better in October.

6.) Exercise at least 4 times per week. My definition of exercise currently is anything that gets me up and moving. I can't wait for my new yoga DVD to get here to try that. I also go for walks which I count. The weather is going to cool down at the end of the week and I can't wait. I love fall. I didn't manage the 4 times per week, but I did get in 3. So, not great, but better than nothing!!

Overall, I think that I did okay. I am hoping to post my October goals tomorrow. I need to revise my budget due to a few changes. My doctor appointment line item needs to be increased. This will result in taking some funds from elsewhere.

I hope the economy stabilizes soon. I hate hearing about how the markets do from day to day. It's a good thing I have a long time until retirement.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Lunch with an Old Friend

I went out to lunch today with a good friend from college. He was in town visiting a cousin. We went to PF Chang's and he treated me to lunch. How very nice of him!! It was a great lunch. It's one of the few places where I can eat with food allergies and not worry too much. They have a specific gluten free menu as well as knowledgeable staff.

As long as we were at the mall, I looked for a new scarf. No luck though. All of the ones I liked were way out of my budget. Not too surprising. My friend was looking for some jeans. He ended up finding some at a store where I had a coupon. He saved about $23, so that was good.

I took him to Trader Joe's while I did my monthly shopping there. He has never been there since there isn't one where he lives. I talk about it all of time though, so he wanted to check it out. I bought him some salsa from there since he brought some for me from a place I loved in college that I can't get where I currently live. I spent $29.99 including what I purchased for him. I have $40 budgeted for food for this weekend since I was making my monthly TJ trip. I did not get any fruit at TJ, so I will go to the store near my apartment tomorrow to get some for the week. I have $10 left for this, so I could be able to stay within budget.

I also need to get gas tomorrow. It's been three weeks since I got gas!!

As for the week ahead . . . I have to pay rent this week. That's never fun. I am seeing a new doctor this week. I am not sure how much this will end up costing me. She is in-network, but I don't know if it will be a copay or my deductible ($300) and then 20%. I sure hope it's a copay!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

My Weekend

I did pretty good with my spending this weekend. I only spent money on groceries (about $24). However, I am not sure that I have enough to get me through the week. I am hoping that I am wrong about this. We will see as the week goes on. I went to Super Target for my grocery shopping this weekend. They tend to have better prices on most things where I live. The only problem is that the product is hit and miss. This weekend it was pretty good, but there wasn't a lot of it left on the shelves.

Next weekend will be my monthly trip to Trader Joe's. This will increase my food spending for next weekend to around $40. I am hoping their prices haven't gone up too much in the past month.

One exciting thing this weekend was that I got a library card!! I have lived in this area for a little over three years now. I have only been to the library once so far until this weekend. I finally went and got a library card while I was there. I checked out two books about the GMAT. Even though they are available through the library I think I will end up purchasing one so that I can make notes in it and use the online features that I number of them offer. I thought this would be a good way to see which one I liked best.

The rest of my weekend wasn't too eventful. I cleaned, cooked, and studied for my professional certification exam. I need to get back into the habit of studying a lot more than I currently am. The library was a great place to study this weekend. I am hoping to go there most weekends to study. It's also a nice change of scenery.

I am not planning on spending any money until next weekend. I am really trying not to spend any during the week. Next weekend will be Trader Joe's, regular grocery store or Super Target, and gas. I haven't gotten gas for a few weeks now, so that's great. I have a friend coming into town, so we are meeting up for lunch one day this weekend. That shouldn't cost me more than $8. I never go out to eat anymore, so I don't feel too guilty about this. I also have the cash to cover this, so I am okay with it.

Have a great week!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Food Budget

I think I may need to increase my food budget. I have a restricted diet due to food allergies. This causes me to eat mainly non-processed foods. A lot of the foods I eat have been increasing in price. In order to offset this, I have been eating the same 10 food items each week. It's not very exciting and it's getting old. I think I need to increase my budget in order to due a larger variety of foods as well as eat a littler healthier. I have also been buying less fruits than I should be. We will see how much more I spend this weekend when i try to buy a larger variety of food!

Have a great Friday tomorrow!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Shopping & Future Plans

Well, I went shopping this morning. This means that I will not meet one of my goals. My goal was to limit my spending to under $50 for September for things like extras and clothes. I spent $59.25 today. I am okay with not meeting this goal. I got a great deal on the clothes I bought. I bought a pair of black dress pants and some nice jeans which I can wear on casual days at work. The store had a buy one get one half off deal. Plus I had a coupon for $30 off a purchase over $75. The original total was $119, but with all of my coupons, I only spent $59.25. I needed new pants due to losing some weight over the last six months. I only have two pairs of dress pants which fit. I am hoping to not spend any money on clothes for a month or two now.

Other spending this month . . . I haven't spent any money this month until today on anything other than my normal bills, groceries, and my professional association dues.

My future . . . I just found out that a state university is going to begin offering their MBA program at an off-campus location close to where I live. The school campus is about 1.5 hours from me, but the off-campus location is within 15 minutes!! I am seriously considering starting to study for the GMAT and taking it to see how well I do. If I decide to do this, I would apply to start school next fall. My work reimburses up to $5,000 per calendar year for tuition and books. Based on my calculations I would end up spending about $6,000-6,500 out of my pocket on tuition and books. I need to calculate the total cost including the GMAT and other things which will come up like application costs. This would require me to completely rework my financial plans for the next few years. I would also have to put off buying a house longer than I would like.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Survey Money

I have been doing online surveys since the end of April through two different companies. I have earned about $60 from one company so far. I have no earned enough points to cash out anything from the other company. I feel like a number of bloggers lately have been cashing out a lot of survey money!! Why am I not getting surveys worth high points/dollars and/or that may surveys!?!?

If anyone would like a referral link to one of the companies I use, just let me know!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Weekend Spending

I feel pretty good about my spending this weekend. I only bought groceries and put gas in my car. I tend to do my grocery shopping each Sunday. I also get gas every other Sunday assuming I am not driving more than normal. I fill up every week if I need to.

I looked through all of the area grocery ads this morning before I deciding where to go. A supermarket about 8 miles from me (one I have never been to) had great meat prices this week. I was completely out of all meat. I have been refusing to buy any with the high prices. I bought three pounds of hamburger and two pork roasts. The majority of my grocery bill this week was spent on meat. I might even go back on Saturday before the ad expires and get some more hamburger. I saved about $1.20 a pound, so it's worth it. This will last me a few months at least. I put almost all of it right into my freezer.

I also got gas on my way home from the grocery store. Gas was 10 cents cheaper in this area than by my apartment. Any savings helps!!!

I didn't spend any money this week other than paying two bills. I had to pay my internet bill and renew my professional association dues for the year. I am very pleased with myself this week. This week should help me achieve my monthly goals . . . at least some of them.