Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving Holiday

My family has left, my apartment is put back together, and I am exhausted. My family arrived on Thursday right as I finished cooking. All that was left was for my mom to make gravy and my dad to carve the turkey. Everything turned out great. I was very surprised since I have never made a full Thanksgiving meal all by myself before. They came with lots of extra food that I did not tell them to bring, but that's my family!

We had a great meal, watched a few movies, went a parade, shopped, ate some more, and enjoyed each other's company. I think I enjoyed this Thanksgiving more than in the past because it felt like it was a holiday since we were here instead of at my parent's house. At their house, they have their normal routines that make it feel like any other day. The weather was great. No snow or wind, but a little chilly. It's the end of November though, so that's to be expected.

We went out shopping on Friday. Everyone got at least a few things. My dad and brother went their way, and my mom and I went our own way. My dad and brother went to two motorcycle stores and some sporting good stores. They were able to save 20% off everything at one store (they normally don't have sales). My brother got some clothes he was looking for at 50% off.

My mom and I braved a mall. We drove to one that was further away from my apartment, but it had all of the stores we wanted so there was no driving from mall to mall. My mom got a sweater, two long-sleeved tops, and an iron for $40. That's pretty good in my mind! I finally got a new cell phone after a month of looking and trying to decide. Now I have to deal with a mail in rebate for that. I am not a fan of those. Oh, well though! I also got a phone for my brother. His phone was free since I purchased mine. I love free!! And he loves the new phone, so it worked out very well.

I also bought some workout clothes. They were all on sale. The gym that I am going to join opens on Monday. I am very excited. I am still trying to figure out how to work this into my budget, but I really need to start working out again. I know it will be hard work, but in the end I will end up feeling much better. I have some health problems, and all of my doctors recommend that I workout in order to help my pain levels. My enrollment fee will be waived since I called and got my name down already. I have a few things from when I worked out in the past, but a lot of them are worn out and/or too small now.

My mom brought me a hostess gift this weekend . . . Yahtzee!!! I am very excited. I had no games, and I really wanted one. I love Yahtzee. It reminds me of growing up.

That was my weekend!! I have also enjoyed having a few days off from work. This weekend also made me realize that I am very grateful for everything I have from my family to my clothes to my apartment. I know it may seem like my family spent a lot this weekend, but it was all planned and budgeted for. The total was not a lot since everything purchased was at least 25% off this weekend. Most of it was more than that with some even being 60% off.

As for this next week, I am sure it will be busy. I will start going to the gym, eat leftovers (I sent some back with my family and still have a ton), work, and study. I should not have to go to the grocery store until next weekend. I have no shopping plans since I was just shopping. I really need to study.

It's snowing here today. I don't mind snowy days when I can stay home and curl up under a blanket. I hope everyone had a great holiday like I did.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I bought the last few items that I needed for Thanksgiving. I also got some things so that I won't need to go to the store this weekend or next week. Well, I may have to go pick up some bananas, but that should be it. I have been busy cooking and doing dishes tonight. I still need to clean and do one more round of dishes. I am trying to do as much as I can tonight so that I don't have to do too much tomorrow.

I really hope that I don't spend very much and stay within budget on Friday. I can't wait for tomorrow to look at the ads. I love looking at them even if I am not planning to go and buy anything in them. I will post this weekend and let you all know how I did.

My family leaves on Saturday, so the rest of the weekend will be spent doing a little picking up after they leave and studying. I will also be enjoying my leftovers!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

No Spend Weekend

I spent no money this weekend!! I stayed in all day Saturday and Sunday, so that would be why. I had a lot to get done and it was cold here so I didn't mind. I have a very busy week between work and getting ready for Thanksgiving. I spent no money today either. I am hoping to do the same tomorrow. Wednesday I have to pick up a few things for Thanksgiving, but hopefully I won't sped any more than $10. On Friday I really need to limit myself. There isn't anything I really need though, so I should be okay.

Friday, November 21, 2008

My Friday

I am so glad it's Friday even though I have to do some stuff for work this weekend. The nice part is that I have full access from home, so I will be able to work from the comfort of my couch.

Today after work I went to the mall to look at a few things. I checked out cell phones. I have narrowed my decision slightly. I am going to wait until next week to do anything in hopes of them having some after Thanksgiving sales. I ended up buying a sweater. I had planned to look next weekend, but I found one I really liked today and it was 25% off. No shopping for me next weekend now!

Then it was off to the grocery store to get everything for Thanksgiving since I am having my family here this year for the first time ever. I think I did pretty good. I spent $45.02. I had planned for $45. This includes my food for today through Wednesday as well. Then next weekend will be lots of leftovers for me!

Yesterday . . . my toaster oven broke. I emailed the company since it's not even a year old, but no luck so far. I use it every morining for breakfast, so now I have had to change my morning routine. So, my no spending next weekend may go out the window if this doesn't get fixed and there is a really good sale on one.

Cell phone side note . . . I do not have a landline, so this is my only phone. I have been researching and price watching in order to get the best deal on a high quality cell phone. For me, this is a very important decision since I will have this phone for at least two years. I hope to limit my spending on this phone, but I also want somethings that is high quality.

This weekend . . . I hope to not spend any additional money. More studying this weekend! I also need to start cleaning and getting ready for my family next week. And of course work!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Busy Week

This has been a very busy week for me at work. Next week will be as well. This means no time to spend money though, so that's great. I am planning to go grocery shopping this weekend for Thanksgiving. I am really hoping to keep my spending under $45. I normally spend about $25 each week on groceries, so this is an increase of $20. I have a list which I priced out with the best ad this week, so I should be able to do it.

I might go look at cell phones this weekend if I get the itch to shop. I will not be buying a new phone this weekend though. I want to wait until after Thanksgiving to see if they have any good deals then. I would like to get an idea of which phones I like prior to Thanksgiving weekend.

I can't wait for the holidays so that I have a long weekend since mine will be cut short this weekend due to having to work. I also need to fit in lots of studying this weekend. It will be a busy one!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Updates and Links

I just updated my sidebars. My travel fund decreased slightly, but not due to use. I took $150 out of this fund to put towards making an extra payment on my car loan. I am really trying to focus on paying this loan off. I have only had the loan for one year, but I want it paid off sooner rather than later. My overall savings also increased.

I also updated my ING Orange Savings link. If anyone doesn't already have an ING account and would like to start saving with them, please use a link on the right. If you deposit a minimum of $250 for your initial deposit, you will a $25 bonus by using the link. I will also get $10, so it's a great deal for both of us.

Decisions, Decisions

I am eligible for a new cell phone due to my contract being up. I really like the phone I currently have, but the battery doesn't last as long as it used to. I am having a hard time deciding what to do. I want a new phone so that I have a good battery, but I have no idea which one to pick. There are just too many options. It also seems like phones have gotten more expensive with all of the different choices out there now. Any suggestions on how to pick a new phone?

Friday, November 14, 2008

My Week

I am so glad it's Friday! It's cold and windy here today. I ran a few errands after work so that I can stay home all weekend. I went to Trader Joe's and Walmart. I spent about $40 total, so that's not too bad. I shouldn't have any other shopping trips until one week from Sunday when I go buy everything for Thanksgiving. That will be a spendier trip. I do have $10 in gift certificates to use at my regular grocery store, so I am planning to go there.

I still have not gotten gas, so sometime next week I will have to do that. I hope to not spend any money other than on groceries until Thanksgiving. Well, groceries and my normal bills.

My plans for the weekend are to stay home and study. I really need to get a lot done this weekend. I also want to get some things done around my apartment so that I don't have to do so much next weekend because I also may need to work some next weekend due to the short holiday week after that. Why do holidays always end up during the busiest times at work?

Have a great weekend!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I Have Heat!!!

I love when simple things in life make you happy. A very nice man from the heating company came late yesterday and fixed my furnace. Apparently my apartment complex has a wasp problem (news to me) and they get into the HVAC unit through a vent. They get into the motor and it breaks. It is very nice to be warm again. It came just in time too because we have had rain/snow all day today. It's not a very nice day here.

I ended up going nowhere and spending no money this weekend. It was great. The last time I spent any money was on Friday. Even then I only spent $1.79 on groceries due to having coupons. I am hoping to spend very little this week. I will need gas and a few more groceries, but that should be it.

Happy Veteran's Day!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Still Cold

Well, they still don't have the heat fixed in my apartment. It was 62 in here when I woke up this morning. The maintenance man who came on Saturday was not able to fix the furnace. He said that the apartment office would need to have a heating specialist come in to look at it. When I called to talk to the office on Saturday after he left, they told that they would not have someone come in until Monday. I asked what they would do in the meantime then since it was going to be a cold weekend. They said nothing. I left a message this morning for the manager stating that the furnace needs to be fixed right away this morning and that I want to speak with her today about this situation. I feel that they should have had someone out here on Saturday to take care of this. We'll see how today goes. I hope I have heat for tonight.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Burrrrrr . . .

It's cold in my apartment!! I turned my HVAC unit on for the first time since I turned off the A/C this fall. It's really loud and rattling. I called my apartment management. They have the maintenance people coming out to look at it soon. Even the person from the office who came to listen to it said that it shouldn't sound like that. I hope they come soon because it's going to be cold again tonight. Good thing I have a lot of blankets!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Weekend Goal

My goals for this weekend . . .

1.) Only spend money on gas and groceries. There should be nothing else I need this weekend.
2.) Study lots!!!!

There is currently snow on the ground outside. I am not sure if I am ready for winter, but it's here whether I like it or not. I might have to turn my heat on this weekend since it's going to get cold and stay there.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I Voted . . .

I joined the millions of people in America today and voted. I went mid-morning and didn't even have to wait in line. It was great.

On another note, I got my first ever flu shot today. My arm is a little sore. It was free since I have my health insurance through my employer. They did it on-sight this morning. What a busy day.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

October Review . . . Thinking about November

I can't believe it's November 1st already. My net worth increased in October, but not by as much as it should have. My net worth is currently at $7,562. That's increase of about $784 over last month. Considering that this was an extra payment month for that's not a very good increase. My 401k took a good sized hit this month. That hurt.

I spent more money than I wanted to in October, but it was mainly due to my certification exam. I registered to take one of the parts, so that cost $190. I also ordered additional study materials for this section. I am hoping to take this part of the exam prior to Christmas, but I have until the end of February is something happens and am not take to take it as planned. Once I schedule a date though, no going back. I am hoping to really increase my studying time starting this weekend.

I was under budget in all categories, so that was great. I hope I can manage that in November as well with Thanksgiving in there. My family is coming to visit me for Thanksgiving, so I increased my food budget for the month to account for this. I have a little bit set aside for shopping that weekend, but not much. I really don't need anything, but I am sure I will find something that I want.

As far as goals go for November, I am hoping to stay under budget in each category as mentioned above. I would also like to limit spending as much as possible to only items I think I really need. I am hoping to make a large extra payment on my car in December. I need to save as much as I can now to make that happen. I also need to study lots in November. This should promote savings.

My mom is coming to town today, so I am meeting her at the mall. I hope to spend no more than $50 this weekend for everything. I have a full tank of gas so that helps! My mom said that she would treat me to lunch out today. We usually split a meal which helps save money. She is looking for some dress pants, so I will be concentrated on helping her find clothes which will limit my looking at things I don't need. I am hoping to finally find a scarf today. It's going to start getting cold again next week.

I will let you know how my spending goes this weekend. Lets hope I keep it under control!