Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Vacation Update

I am still on vacation from work, but I am back at my apartment now. I returned from my parent's house yesterday. I was planning to stay another day or two, but once I heard the forecast I decided to head back early. I am sure glad I did! They got over 7 inches of snow last I heard. There is also snow where I live resulting in more accidents, so I am glad to be safely home and not having to go anywhere.

On the money front . . . I didn't spend much money while at my parent's. I did go to the mall, but I did not find anything! That saved me from spending money unnecessarily. My parents are very generous when I am home. They paid for my oil change, bought me a few things from Target, and drove me around while I was there. My car sat in the garage most of the time. It was great. They have so much snow there, so I really didn't want to drive on their roads.

I love that gas prices have gone down. It only cost $15 to fill up my tank after my 4 hour drive to my parent's house last Monday. It cost a little more when I got back here yesterday because I also needed a car wash due to all of the salt on my car. (Another reason I am not a fan of living in the upper Midwest.) I also needed lots of groceries after being gone for a week. I was able to limit my spending on groceries to $34. That was good. I stocked up on a few things, so I should be able to spend less next week. My only expenses for the past week have been gas and groceries. The total was around $75 which was within my budget! Yay!
I got some great presents from my family for Christmas. They were all items that I wanted but didn't want to buy myself. Those are the best things to get. I got an angel food cake pan, a purple shirt from The Limited, a sweatshirt with my college logo on it, and a banana tree. My family loved everything I got them as well.

I am still working on getting my 2009 goals figured out. I hope to post them soon. As of right now, I am planning to be boring and stay home tomorrow night. I have a cold, so I don't feel like going out. I am planning to see how I feel tomorrow and decide. Some friends of mine are having people over, so if I do anything, I will go to their place. At least it will be a cheap night if I do something.

I hope everyone has a great New Year's Eve and stays safe!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Ready for Christmas

I am ready for Christmas! I baked, worked, cleaned, and packed this weekend. There are a few things that I didn't get done which I had hoped to. I decided that's okay though. They didn't have to be done before I head home for the holidays. Now my biggest concern is the weather. It isn't snowing right now, but we got a storm this weekend and more snow on the way for Tuesday. I just want to make it home! I was planning to leave on Tuesday, but now I think I will be leaving tomorrow. I hope it ends up working out for me to leave a day early. If not I will be able to get the other things done that I wasn't able to this weekend.

I didn't spend any money this weekend. 2 no spend days! If I head home tomorrow, I will end up spending planned money. I will need to get gas when I get to my parent's and buy my brother's Christmas present. I don't like my tank to get too low in the winter especially when it's been so cold here and my car will be sitting out at my parent's. I shouldn't spend any other money unless I go shopping. Very tempting . . .

I hope every is ready for Christmas and has safe travels for the holidays.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Pre-Holiday Expenses

I went to the store today to pick up a little fruit to get me through the weekend. I only spent about $2. I don't plan to spend any other money this weekend besides filling up my car with gas. This should be minimal as I only need a few gallons. I want to have a full tank when I leave for my parent's either Monday or Tuesday.

I am going to bake some cookies and bars this weekend. I purchased all the supplies for those over the past few weeks, so no more money needs to be spent there. I also have all of my Christmas presents (except for one I can't get yet) and the supplies to wrap them. That's also on my to do list this weekend. I will be picking up my brother's present when I get back home.

My other weekend plans include: making the top of a quilt (for my parent's-not their Christmas present), cleaning, doing laundry, packing, and lots of working! It's going to be a busy weekend. I hope I can get through it all. I am planning to go into work tomorrow and then work from home on Sunday. We are supposed to get more snow sometime Saturday and into Sunday. Sunday will be a good day to stay home and finish up frosting cookies and packing.

Overall, I shouldn't spend more than $30 before Christmas. This is assuming I don't go shopping once I get home. I am thinking about going, but I know I shouldn't spend the money. I can't wait to get home and eat lots of food!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I Passed!!!!

I passed my test this morning. I am very excited about this. This means that I can submit my reimbursement through work for $519.95!! This will cover my expenses for signing up for the next part. I have passed two parts and I have two left. I am exhausted.

Now it's time to start getting ready for Christmas. I can't wait to bake.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Exhausted . . .

I am exhausted right now, but I can't sleep. Not good. I have my big test on Wednesday and I am starting to freak out. I am really trying to think positive that I will pass, but I am also trying to prepare myself for failure. I wish I wouldn't have told anyone I was taking this test this week so that if I failed I wouldn't have to tell anyone! Not good! I am taking this afternoon off to study and workout. Since I haven't slept much (not for lack of trying), I might also sneak a nap in for a short bit if I think I might actually be able to sleep. I need to be well rested for tomorrow.

It's freezing here right now. The cold and snow will probably keep me from doing much over the next week. This is good though because I don't want to spend any money and I have a ton to do after I get this test over with. I want to make the top of a quilt for my parent's for Christmas. I also need to make lots of sugar cookies. I will also be doing some work this weekend so that I can't head home on Tuesday and not have to worry about a thing for the next week or so. Last year I left some things until after I got back from my vacation time at Christmas. I thought about it the entire time I was on vacation from work. I decided to just work hard and get it all done before hand this year so that I can really enjoy my vacation.

I shouldn't have to spend too much money on my vacation. I can't wait to see my family, rest up, eat some good food, and relax. I want to make my 2009 goals as well over my vacation. I haven't been home since August, so this will be nice. I have seen my immediate family, but there's still something about seeing them at my parent's versus them coming here for a quick visit.

I need to update my sidebars sometime. I was able to transfer some more money to savings. This brings my total to just over $10,000 in savings. I am very excited about this. I should have everything updated by the start of 2009 with my plan for the new year in place.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Weekend Spending

I went to run errands today which means more money spent. I had to go to two grocery stores, but I bought only what was on my list at least place. I am all set for my holiday baking now. I made a roast today which means no cooking for the next few days. I should only have to go to the store once before I head back to my parent's house for the holidays. That trip should be under $10, maybe even under $5.

I also got gas today. I debated about filling up, but I want to make sure that I have a full tank since I have to drive to my test on Wednesday and it's going to be cold here this week. I paid $1.669 a gallon. I was well under budget on my gas.

No spending now until later next week at the earliest I am hoping. I hope to workout again tomorrow (I went this morning), but the weather will determine if I dare go out or not. We might get the edge of a winter storm tonight/tomorrow. Tomorrow through Tuesday will be lots of studying. I have my test on Wednesday morning. I am very nervous. I really need to pass. Work will reimburse if I do, so there is also a lot of money on the line. I am taking Tuesday afternoon off to get some extra study time in.

I will be very busy once this test is over. Then I need to start getting ready for Christmas. I can't wait to start baking. My mom and I split the cookie making duties. I usually make sugar cookies. I have a lot of them to take this year. I also want to start thinking more about my goals for 2009. I have some ideas, but I need to write them down and see how realistic they are.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I Was Tagged . . .

I was tagged by Young Black and Prosperous. (I love her blog!)

So, six things about myself . . .

1.) I don't like the cold and snow, but I live in the upper midwest.

2.) I am in the process of becoming a CMA (Certified Management Accountant).

3.) I love reality TV shows.

4.) I very rarely eat out. (This saves me money!)

5.) I love reading 'Newsweek' magazine.

6.) My favorite color is blue.

That was harder than I thought it would be!

I will tag . . .

Forest on Finance and Full o' Debt.

I really enjoy both of these blogs. I just found Full o' Debt, but I really enjoy it. I have enjoyed reading Forest's blog for awhile now.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

This Week

I can't believe it's already Wednesday! I went to the dentist today for my 6 month cleaning. For the first time in a long time, I don't have any cavities!! I am very excited. I have been trying to floss and rinse a lot more this past year, and I think it might have paid off this time. That will save me some money. I had budgeted to have one filling. I will save this money towards my next visit in case I have cavities next time.

I am very stressed out right now. I have my big test one week from today. I still have a lot I feel like I need to learn. I really need to pass this exam. I will be out $190 if I don't pass. Plus the stress of not passing. What a week it's going to be. I have no plans for the next week except work, working out, studying, and sleeping.

I can't wait until Christmas for a break. I have a week off to spend at home with my family. I will need it. Once this test is over I have Christmas to get ready for. I have my shopping done, but I need to bake and make one present. I also need to send out a few Christmas cards too.

Is anyone else stressed out about the holidays?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Christmas Shopping & Gym Membership.

I decided to run out over lunch today and do my Christmas shopping. I was able to get everything except a gift card for my brother that I will get once I get back to my hometown on the 23rd. I came in under budget!!Yay!! I only spent $75 this year due to a change in how my family does Christmas. We have decided that we really don't need anything and limit things to one small item for each person (there are only 4 of us). I got everything on sale. It was all at least 50% off. I love that. I also got something for my aunt who is also my godmother and my two direct reports at work. I like to give them something little each year. I got them each a mug and some hot chocolate. I also bought containers to put some cookies in that I will make the weekend before Christmas. I love the holidays. I enjoy trying to figure out the right gift for each person. I also enjoyed that this year did not cost me nearly what last year did, but I enjoyed shopping just as much and will enjoy giving each person the presents just like I did last year.

I joined the gym on Monday. I worked out Monday and today. I am hoping to go every other day. It feels great to be working out again. I just hope I can get myself to go even when it's freezing outside. I decided to go with one of the 24-hour places because it's the best priced in my area. It's also a brand new location with the corporate offices attached, so it has very nice equipment.

No more spending for me this week! I am hoping to not have to go get groceries other than bananas this weekend. More studying, saving, and working out for me this week and weekend.