Thursday, July 31, 2008
I have the long weekend off to enjoy myself, and I am going to take the time to mentally prepare myself for this next chapter.
Anyone been through a similar experience lately that can lend some advice?
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
- I made my 8th no spend day for this month yesterday!
The only bad part is that I am sure that I will make up for it this weekend in Memphis. A girl can only save so much, right?
- I spoke with my future boss yesterday.
My first day is Monday, so I am supposed to go by this afternoon and tell him how I want my office furniture to be placed. I am really excited. I have been working for the State for two years now, and we do not have such perks here. In fact, your furniture stays how "they" place it. I am also thrilled to meet everyone that I will be working with at my new office. I have only had the opportunity to meet some of the people, but today I will get a chance to meet EVERYONE. I hear only good things about the people that work in the office, so that is a good sign.
- My jewelry came in yesterday.
I can finally mail my step-mother her birthday gift! (Her birthday was July 17th). Better late than never.
Otherwise, I don't really have too much going on in my world. I am super busy at work trying to wrap up all of my projects since tomorrow is my last day. I am driving home tomorrow after work to get my hair done Friday morning and then driving directly back to head to Memphis for the weekend. August is looking to be just as expensive as July. I am going to be broke....
Monday, July 28, 2008
Monday night one of the bf's best friend's from high school and her husband are in from San Diego and we are supposed to be going to dinner with them.
Tuesday - Spaghetti with toast. (This has been on the menu for weeks, but we have yet to eat it.)
Wednesday - Totinos - Cheap and easy. I have gone way over budget this month in food.
Thursday - The bf has another set of friends coming into town from Charlotte, NC. He is supposed to be having dinner with them. I am unable to make it because I am driving home Thursday night to get my hair cut on Friday morning and then heading straight back for our weekend in Memphis.
Friday - Rendezvous in Memphis.
Saturday - Unsure - we are heading to the Dave Matthews Concert.
Friday night - wine for dinner - $14.42.
Saturday - 2 books at border's. One for Bachelorette Party and one for myself - $29.19.
- Dinner - $50 gift certificate
Sunday - No Spend.
Grand total: $43.61.
Of course, it did help that my mother was in town and bought most of the meals. My bf bought our lunch on Saturday and I contributed a bottle of wine for Friday's dinner and $50 in a gift card on Saturday night, but other than that, Mom picked up the tab.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Well, yesterday I found out that ALL three other girls that volunteered to host her party have backed out and are not coming. Only one girl, her sister, is actually sending money to help defray the cost. This is frustrating because I do not have the money to cover all her expenses and I don't feel appropriate speaking with her about it. She has been a very dear and great friend to me and I know that if the situations were reversed she would plan my bachelorette party without any help. The help is not really the problem though because I can plan the party by myself, it is a money issue. The only solution that I can come up with, is after finding out who all is attending the events to send them an email asking for volunteers to bring appetizers to her Lingerie Shower. I expect whomever is staying in her hotel room is expecting to split her cost and at dinner/bars her friends are just going to have to pony up. Any other suggestions?
*The second weekend in August was inconvenient for me because I start my new job that week and am not sure what time I will get off for a party that starts at 7 at MY HOUSE.
Something really suck in my head at last week's jewelry party. The hostess stated that her two favorite prices were "free" and "half off." She's not the only one!
I am finding that this jewelry party is really a great idea. Not only am I getting to make new friends, but I am connecting with old friends. I cannot wait to have all the girls over.
I MADE MY GOAL OF 5 NO-SPEND DAYS YESTERDAY. AS I AM EXTREMELY OVER BUDGET THIS MONTH, IT WASN'T AS HARD AS I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE TO NOT SPEND A PENNY. I AM GOING TO CONTINUE ON MY STREAK AND HOPE TO GET MORE NO SPEND DAYS FOR THIS MONTH. THAT MEANS, NEXT MONTH'S GOAL INCREASES TO 8 NO SPEND DAYS! ANYONE ELSE WANT TO ACCEPT THIS CHALLENGE? WE CAN DO IT TOGETHER!
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Ticket plus misc at concert - $100.00
Gas - $25 (we are riding up there with another couple)
Meals - $80 (one expensive dinner with drinks on Friday night and then Saturday and Sunday's lunch and dinner)
Vet - $30 (have to board my babies)
Birthday gift - $30 (t-shirt at concert. However, this will come out of my gift fund)
Total - $265
This money will come from various places including travel fund, gift fund, and groceries/dining out.
The following weekend I will be hosting my old roommate's bachelorette/lingerie party. We are again heading to Memphis. Expected cost for the weekend:
Food for Lingerie Shower - $100.00
Lingerie Gift - $30.00
Gas to Memphis -$35.00
Room - $75.00 (my share plus part of the bachelorette's)
Dinner - $50.00 (my share plus part of the bachelorette's)
Beale St. - $100.00 (my share plus part of the bachelorette's.)
Total - $390.00. WOW, things really add up.
I am hoping some of these costs will be defrayed by other friends willing to help. I may dish out some of the food responsibilities and others should help with her drinks and room. Needless to say, once the $390 is gone, that is all I have.
That is $655 in just two weekends. Look's like the other two will be low key.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
Monday - Spaghetti w/ toast or Meatloaf with oven roasted potatoes. (Haven't decided which one we will be having. We have turkey meat that needs to be eaten tonight. )
Tuesday - Blackened Chicken with Fettuccine
Wednesday - Pizza
Thursday - Baked BBQ Chicken, green beans, and rice
Friday - Tacos (I swear the bf loves Tacos and requests them every week.)
Saturday - Chicken Fajitas
My mother arrived Thursday afternoon just in time for my 6:00 tennis match. It was fun to have my mother there to watch me play because she is a very talented tennis player so she had a lot of pointers at dinner later that night. I just started playing tennis this year and have been taking lessons. Of course, I make very common mistakes for beginners, but it was interesting to hear how to fix the mishaps.
Friday morning we got up and took the dogs for a walk. I usually take the dogs for about a thirty minute walk. However, my mom and I decided to go an hour. Well, after about 45 minutes, my little baby (he weigh 6.4 pounds) decides that he has had enough and sits down refusing to get up. I ended up having to pick him up and carry him the remainder of the way. It was too cute. He was protesting the walk. Afterwards we went to lunch, and then had a lovely girls day out getting our nails and toes done (mom's treat). Friday night was pretty uneventful. I cooked dinner and then read a book until I feel asleep.
Saturday morning I had my first private tennis lesson (I have been taking group lessons once a week). Then after a little yard work, the bf, my mother and I went to the lake. That made for a very relaxing Saturday afternoon. We cruised the lake on the boat for about 5 hours at which time we were all starving and decided to cook steaks, asparagus, corn and baked potatoes. It was delicious!
Sunday we did it all over again at the lake except this time I got burned. The sacrifices we make to have fun. :)
My mom leaves today after lunch. I hate to see her go. We have such a great time every time she comes to visit. It would be nice if we lived in the same town.
FYI - I had my third no spend day on Sunday!!! Only two more to go to reach this month's challenge of 5 no-spend days. I think next month I may increase the number to 8. I will have to see it I hit my goal this month. Otherwise, it will stay at 5 until I can achieve it.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
So far the damage is:
Groceries - $301.26/$300
Shopping - $418.46/$150.00
Gas/Auto Maintenance - $247.36/$160
(Keep in mind that there are still two weeks left in July. I filled up my car yesterday with gas so maybe (highly unlikely) I will be able to wait until August before filling up again. But, I know that I will need to buy more food before the month is complete.)
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
I got one bracelet by signing up to host a party in August. And guess what - I get 30% of my sales to use towards FREE jewelry. And if my guest spend over $450, I get 50% of my sales. Sounds great to me because there was a lot of very cute, affordable, jewelry that I would love to add to my collection for my new job.
In addition, by signing up to host a party I got my step-mother's gift for $10. I only had to purchase one item. (This is how I got suckered into buying the second bracelet that I got). If I didn't buy one item I had to pay full price for my step-mother's bracelet which cost $49.00. So, in the end, I won by getting both bracelets for $48.69.
I got the scarf for free also!
Although I have attended several of these parties, I have never actually hosted one. I think it is time my friends re-pay the favor and come over to shop!
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
Monday - Lasagna, bread and salad
Tuesday - Hot dogs with chips
Wednesday - Dirty Rice
Thursday - Tacos
Friday - Spaghetti with Marinara Bread sticks
Saturday - I have yet to decide what we are having. We invited the neighbors that live across the street from the bf to come over and have dinner. So, we have to make something yummy.
Sunday - Leftovers
Sunday, July 13, 2008
I finally, I mean FINALLY, got my oil changed. Along with the oil change, I needed new windshield wipers and an air filter. Grand total at the shop - $75.16.
Then lunch on Saturday at a bbq restaurant for the bf and I - $12.60. A friend from high school of the bf's just opened this bbq restaurant and we told him that we would check it out.
Dinner Saturday night: $49.32. This included rib eye steak, baked potatoes, salad, and apple pie with ice cream for 3. It was delicious. We were cooking out at a friend's house.
Then the bf and I went on our weekly run to the grocery store (Walmart). We spent a lot. I hope that it is going to last us through most of the month because my grocery budget is minimal. For $126.35 (the bf and I split this, so my part wasn't this much) we got:
8 x 8 baking pan,
Fudge Ice Cream Pops,
3 lbs ground turkey,
2 cans of Tomato Sauce,
6 Smart Ones,
Pepper Jack Chicken Dinner,
Hot Dog Buns,
3 Bell Peppers,
2 boxes of Corn Bread Mix,
Taco Dinner Kit,
Onion Soup Mix,
5 lbs hamburger meat,
24 pack diet coke,
Grand Total for the Weekend - $207.43
Friday, July 11, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
First, my commute is increasing from about 4 miles round-trip to 30 miles round-trip. That means, either my gas budget will have to increase or I will have to move closer to work. I am not sure which option is better. Currently, I live in a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom house with a friend. Living with a roommate keeps my cost of living low. I split rent and all bills. If I move, I will have to rent a place on my own for an extra $300, plus pay all bills alone. I don't think that I will be spending an extra $400 in gas every month for the longer commute. But gas prices are not the only consideration. I will have the wear and tear on my already 7 year old car. I won't be able to go home for lunch to let the dog out. And I will have to wake up at least an hour earlier (30 min commute and have to be at work 30 mins earlier). However, the bf will still be in the same location which is close to my current residence. Logically, we would split our time between our two places, but then we are both spending money on gas. Another solution may be to buy a new car that gets far better gas mileage. I will start a car fund soon and snowflake my ending balance each month into that account. Additionally, I can probably get about $7,000 for the car I currently own.
Second, I will have the cost of business cards, and possibly the cost of having to be admitted to more courts to practice law. This is NOT cheap people.
Basically, too many things are running through my head about starting my new job. Needless to say, I am starting to become stressed.
How have you coped in the past to starting a new job? Should I move closer to work or stay put? Do you think buying a new car with better gas mileage is a better option? The $400 I would spend to rent a new place each month could go towards a car payment and insurance.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
How many days in a month do you usually not spend a dime?
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
6 to 8 chicken breast halves, boneless, no skin (I used chicken strips. They are easier to cook and tend to brown better.)
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika, or to taste
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup chicken broth or water
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
6 to 8 thin slices of lemon
3 tablespoons capers (optional)
Put chicken breasts between 2 sheets of waxed paper or plastic wrap; pound to flatten to about 1/4-inch.
In a shallow bowl, combine flour, salt, pepper and paprika; dredge chicken breasts to coat well.
Heat butter and olive oil in a large skillet. Sauté chicken breasts in batches, about 3 minutes on each side.
Drain off all but 2 tablespoons of fat. Stir in chicken broth, scraping to loosen browned bits. Add lemon juice and heat through. Return chicken to the skillet with the lemon slices; heat until sauce thickens. Add capers, if using. Serve with your favorite pasta (I love angel hair pasta).
Monday, July 7, 2008
Monday - Chicken Piccata. I have had this on my menu every week for the past three weeks and have yet to make it. That means, I have all the necessary ingredients. So, I will definitely be eating this tonight.
Tuesday - Lemon Basil Pasta with Shrimp
Wednesday - Tacos with Salsa and Chips
Thursday - Baked Chicken, Rice, and Veggies
Friday - Spaghetti
I am unsure of what I have in the house to make for Saturday and Sunday. I know that I have a couple more packages of chicken and maybe one more package of hamburger meat. I will let you know what I have once it has been decided. I am pretty happy with this week's menu and hope that it saves me some money. I sure need it to. I don't know whether it is because it is summer time and I have more time after work to shop, but I have been spending money as fast as I make it. Not good :(
Gas for the trip - $76.37
Ice for the boat - $6.14
Drinks for the boat - $20.82
Drinks at the bar Friday - $15
Drinks at the bar Saturday - $33.00
Grand total for the 4th of July weekend - $151.33. That means that I only went $1.33 over budget for the long weekend. Not to shabby.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Besides tonight, this weekend is also going to be pretty expensive. We are leaving tomorrow after work to head to the beach until Sunday for the 4th of July. It is a tradition for the bf and I to go to the beach, spend all day out in the boat, and then watch the fireworks. I am pretty excited! However, we tend to eat out every meal except for breakfast. So, I am budgeting $100.00 for food and $50 for my share of the gas.
Other expenses for the month include:
a $200 registration fee for a convention which I am attending July 15-20.
gas and food while at the convention.
two birthday gifts.
several happy hours to celebrate friends birthdays.
The good news. . . I have two free weekends when I will be in town and don't have any plans. Hopefully during those two weekends I will be able to recoup the money that I am spending.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
I paid off my credit card debt!
Prescriptions: 175.55/50. I went way over budget this month in prescriptions. I combine my personal prescriptions for the month along with my pet's frontline/interceptor. This month I decided to buy a six month supply on frontline which cost me $55.00. I also had my dog's annual vet visit where he got several shots/vaccinations.
Utilities: 47.73/100.00. I am not sure if this is a true estimate of my monthly utilities because it is the first month the my new roommate has been there. So, there may be some utilities that were paid previously when old roommate had transferred the utilities that were in her name to her new house. I should get a better estimate next month.
Groceries: 153.60/200. There was a week when I didn't have to buy groceries because I was in the Bahamas. Otherwise this number would have been really close to over-budget.
Eating out: 41.67/100. I did rather well with eating lunches and dinner at home.
Misc: 217.15/130.50. This category always gets me. If I don't have another category to place my purchase I add it to the misc category. I tend to go over-budget every month in this area. Need to work on that.
Gas: 91.99/160. I didn't have a chance yesterday to fill up otherwise I would have because my gas tank is pretty low. If I added another $60 on this amount which is probably about what it takes to fill up my measly 14 gallon tank I would have been pretty close to budget.
That is how I did this month, how about everyone else?