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Home > Archive: February, 2005

Archive for February, 2005

Raining, sleeting, and snowing.

February 28th, 2005 at 02:30 pm

It's another wonderful day to top off the weekend. It always seems to rain or snow on Mondays by me. The reason I know this, is garbage day is on Tuesday. So for the last month or two it has been crappy taking out the trash. I feel bad for the them and the recycling people.

I had to buy my next monthly train pass. I'm out $17.50 I think I got over charged by a dollar too. That stinks, because I know about it. Atleast I have $105 taken out pretax for my ticket so only $16.50 (not $17.50) should be after-tax.

Already today I've eaten lunch out. We've been planning for a week to go out, and it just hasn't happened. So today 3 of us went to catch up on the news. $5.81

I was also thinking about going grocery shopping today. It all depends on the amount of snow, the number of driving idiots, how the gym goes and what time I get done. Aldi closes at 8pm, so I don't know if I'm going to make that. I will try though, maybe before the gym.

$30 for 3 wines

February 28th, 2005 at 02:04 pm

The weekend turned out good even though it was raining and snowing and sleeting. I finally finished one chair completely!!!! Now I don't ever want to sit on it to get it dirty. It turned out really really cute.

After class I went to visit my grandparents and spent all of Saturday there. It was a good time. We played some cards, watched tv, did a bit of shopping, and caught up on the news. I also got to seem my uncle and his fiance.

My grandma and I went shopping at Target and I spent ~$17 for a cd and some sporting equipment. I used up the rest of my gift cards. Then we stopped at Aldi's on the way home. I was amazed at how cheap everything was. So my resolution this week: Get cash and go shop at Aldi's.

Sunday morning around 1:30 am I pick up my bf from the airport. He actually landed 20 minutes early and at O'Hare!!! Granted it was a red eye, but I was shocked. Eventually we woke up and read the paper, had some coffee, ate baked donuts and lounged.

The baked doughnuts were actually good. I didn't feel like stinking up my place by deep frying, so I baked them. They turned out like little hard dense cookies, we just put some powered sugar on them and they were good.

The wine part's coming up now.

Then we headed over to his cousin's house so he could set up their entertainment center. I hadn't been there so I was going to bring a gift. I stopped and bought 2 bottles, one for us and one for them. Then we stopped at my bf house and I brought the bottles in...oops. So then we left without them naturally. So we had to make another stop for gas, and I bought another bottle.

We got to the house (it's a nice house) and the installation went fine, they bought pizza, and they have a cute 18 month old daughter that was happy to entertain us. It was a fun weekend.


February 25th, 2005 at 01:54 pm

Another cheap day is in the works. It should be a almost a no spend day. I'm going to track that next month.

Just my upholstery class. I might have to pay for some sewing work. I should be finishing up two pieces today. One chair and my mom's ottoman. I have a second chair to get close to finishing today. I haven't decided if I'm going to finish up my 3rd chair. I might wait till after class to do it. I know how now after doing 2 chairs.

Then off to Grandma's house to spend all day Saturday. Good food, good family, naps, the whole works. It should be fun. Then Sunday morning (1:30am) I'll be picking up the bf from the airport and then head back to one our places. It's been a quiet week without him.

Hopefully no spending on Saturday or Sunday. Although an orchid nursery is having their open house this weekend that I wouldn't mind getting to see. It's amazing to see an acre of blooming white orchids. Hopefully I'll avoid temptation and not buy something there.


February 24th, 2005 at 08:13 pm

My BF's birthday is next week and he really wanted a pressure washer. At first I thought, hey no problem, and I can probably get something else for him too. Boy, was I wrong. Pressure washers are expensive. I had no idea, even expensive buying on the interent. So on my way home I stopped at 3 hardware stores to compare prices. On my 3 store, I hit jackpot. I had been looking for a 1750psi unit for about $150-$175 and the internet had them for about $10 cheaper. But at the last store, they had one smaller model 1600 psi and it was on sale too. Wow, I didn't think those went on sale. It was and even $99. I couldn't resist. The worst case would be it's not powerful enough and he returns it and I spend another $50.

Total with tax: $105.68
Birthday gift shopping done: Priceless

Oooh I remembered another thing. I got wireless internet at home today. I worked out a deal with my neighbor to use his wireless internet and I'd pay him half. (it's already working out well)

Total per month: $20

(another oops, I did buy a coffee at the rest stop for $.70)

Total spending today: $163.39
Estimated amount reimbursed: ~$121
Actual spending (not including wear and tear on my car): ~$42

Pay Day + Flex Day = Great Day

February 24th, 2005 at 08:03 pm

Wahooooo!!!!!!!! My flex account was paid out today and ended up with my pay check. It's about time. I had eye surgery over a month and a half ago. I'm rich again...lol well almost, I'm not cringing. Now if only every pay check were this big....hmmm...

So that made my day. Otherwise, I spend $37.01 on gas today. That was for almost two tanks. I had to take a 3-hour 1-way drive for work today and drive back from Chicago to Springfield. Boring. The corn fields weren't even being tilled yet, so there was really nothing to look at. I did see a bunch of unmarked police, fortunately going the other way, except for one. He could have got me good too. I was at the end of a construction zone going atleast 10 mph over. Luckily no lights.

Total reimbursible miles: 358 miles at $.34/mile (I think) is $121. Nice for money, bad for driving.

Tuesday's over

February 23rd, 2005 at 11:19 am

Whew what an expensive day it was yesterday. I ended up spending another $10. This was for a month of parking, so I don't have to pay the $2 a day to take the train in. I'm really near the station now, but it'll be a pain leaving with the mad rush of people. It's a small price to pay to save $30+ a month. My name is on a 3 year waiting list for a monthly parking spot in the lot which would cost me $20 a month. Still beats spending $2/day for ~22 days ($44).

Total yesterday spending: $158.31

I need to do some birthday shopping this weekend, so unfortunately it won't be spendless till next month. However today will be cheap.

Total today spending will be: $0

It never ends

February 22nd, 2005 at 02:28 pm

I was at work, and 2pm hit like a nice warm soft bed. I started practically dozing at my desk...it was bad. I even had stuff to do and I was dozing as I was doing it. So I had to break down and do something. I had to buy some chips and cheese. That's one of the worst parts about working downtown Chicago, in a highrise with shops and restaurants on the first floor. My building takes up a whole city block. There's a pharmacy, bank, 4 restaurants, a juice bar, Krispy Kreme, Starbucks, a manicure place and a few emplty places. Not to mention there are a ton of places across the street. Plenty of temptation. I do bring a lunch 9 out of 10 days or so and I bring coffee from home (yummy starbucks and dunkin donuts).

I was so tired though, and needed some energy. Total afternoon spending:
Warm Chips and warm spicy queso: $2.18

Torrential Tuesday

February 22nd, 2005 at 07:20 am

1. I'm dating a Greek.

2. I don't speak Greek.

3. I'm trying to learn to speak Greek.

4. It's not going well on my own.

5. I found a continuing education class for Greek

6. I registered and paid for the class today.

Spending in a matter of 3 hours: This is going to look bad
Class $144
OJ: $1.62
Breakfast: $2.51
Parking: $8

Total: $156.13

I stopped drinking OJ for the past few years

February 22nd, 2005 at 07:04 am

You know why? It can kill you. It was a lot funnier years ago. Well I did get sucked into the orange juice trap though. A coworker wanted to go get some juice so I tagged along.

OJ: $1.62 ... Ok, so I guess OJ can kill you, paying these prices every day.

Bright and early

February 22nd, 2005 at 05:24 am

My bf is flying down to Mexico today and leaving me behind, the bum. He'll be gone till Sunday. I felt like being nice, so I gave him a ride this morning to the airport. It only took us 45 minutes or so...granted this was at 5am and there was no rush hour yet. Then I drove to downtown Chicago where I work. (Normally I'll pay $2 and take the train in.) I was shocked, there was some traffic, but I made it down there in record time of about 15 minutes. I found some cheaper all day parking for $8, it's a bit of a walk from my building, but definately beats paying $14 or more. Then I stopped and had breakfast. I don't usually do that, but I figured I was up early.

Spending so far and it's only 7:30am:
Parking: $8
Breakfast: $2.51


February 21st, 2005 at 01:10 pm

The weekend projects turned out good even with the crappy weather. Probably because of the crappy weather. My upholstery class is going well. I almost finished 1 chair and 1 ottoman. I have another chair that's coming along nicely. Only 4 weeks to go to finish 3 chairs, and an ottoman.

My on-the-side projects are moving along quite nicely. I recovered a small bench with scrap material left over from my 3 chairs The fabric is two-tone green with subtle vines. well since I didn't feel like wasting another yard, just for the pattern to face the right way. So instead of "growing" up the bench it moves from side to side. You wouldn't even know it unless someone pointed it out. The little arms, do look odd. THe vines are "growing" to the side as well and since the arms are so short, it's hard to tell what the pattern is.

The second project was more involved. It was an gold painted iron-worked ugly pink fabric chair. Pretty ugly all around...good thing it was free. Well it had these buttons sewn on it. So I was experimenting with fabric button making. It actually turned out very cute. I don't mind the gold much any more.

It's a pain to remove staples, but it's worth it to save 2 chairs.

I have 3 bar stools to do. They're now just flat black and they show all the dust, spots, and manage to get every white fuzzy in the house. Those'll be in the same green. The green will be everywhere.

Points and spending

February 21st, 2005 at 12:54 pm

Well I learned how the point systems worked today. I also figured out how to manipulated the system so I can get my name in color and bold and all the ritz. Hmmm what threads to start...

Spending wasn't too bad this weekend. I think it was a total of $90-100.
$60 for work clothes (3 pieces),
$25 for 2 to eat out (I can't remember the last time we were out for sit down dinner. The BF did owe me dinner but conveniently forgot his wallet at home). I ate in the rest of the weekend.
$5 for buttons for some chairs
Steal of the day: $4.50 Target (2 Valentine candies, thank you cards, and t-shirt and paid for with gift card that I got free)

We also checked on some landscaping. It looks like it will cost the BF $4995 for the entire yard, front, back sides. He bought a house (new construction) so he's checking into prices and such. We think that price sounds pretty good. All the work would be done in 1 day, and they maintain it for 2 years. We figure that's about how much it would cost us to do it ourselves.

Not so cheap Thursday

February 18th, 2005 at 02:08 pm

Well my yesterday errand of buying paint and food turned out fairly well. I spent a little more than I was hoping, but nothing will spoil.

I made it Menards for my paint. I don't really care for that place either, but they are the cheapest. (Sort of like the Walmart feeling, Everyone has that glazed over stare). I know I'm definately bias towards them, but I have good reason. I use to live in the same town as where the Menards started and I know the stories. I even went to school with his son. Father and son were jerks. Now that I vented, I went and bought paint there. Total price: $15ish

Then I ran to the SuperTarget. I absolutely love, I mean LOVE shopping during the week. All the stores are dead. So easy to browse and get just what you want. No crowds. Well I did some grocery shopping and some picked up some tupperware containers that I've been needing. There is another cheaper "Super" store, but I didn't want to make an extra trip. (Target has cheap eggs) Target trip: $35

Lastly I ran to the local grocery store. It's a great store, because it has almost everything and in almost every brand, but the prices are bit high. But they were having a sale, $1 = 1 pork chop. So I stocked up. I froze two packages last night. Other grocery total: $15.19

My freezer is now packed. I'll have to start eating some of that...I suppose as soon as the BF gets done dieting.

This weekend should be fairly cheap. My fun upholstery class tonight, eye appointment tomorrow, landscape shopping with the BF (he's getting quotes), sleeping all weekend. Oh I do have to do some work, but I can charge to a job.

I wish it were Friday

February 17th, 2005 at 08:26 am

I'm so tired already and I have one more day to go. I don't think I ever really caught up from last weekend. It was fun though.

I did manage to avoid shopping yesterday. It was so tempting when I was reading the grocery ads to go stock up and freeze somethings. I do need to go out and about today and buy some paint because I planning on painting my kitchen sometime within the next few months. I would have waited, but there's a sale at the hardware store, that anything I can fit in the bag will be 17% off. So I guess I'll be painting sooner than I though. It's going to be a nice yellow orangeish color but not too bright. I'm actually matching it to a picture I have. I bought my townhouse "used" and they had painted every wall, but the colors were so light no one noticed. I didn't even realize till I was doing my final walkthrough that it was painted. It's soooooo light, that unless you compare it to the ceiling and in the right light, you couldn't tell. It'll get done one warmer day in March (probably) when I can open the windows for some cold breeze.

Speaking of cold. Today the temp got down to a two-week low at 25 deg F. There was a cold wind blowing too. Oooh it was horrible waiting for the train and then walking to work. I had my hat, gloves, scarf and wool coat on and it was still getting through.

I think I hit the 200 Views mark. Of course, probably a quarter are mine, going back and forth to New entry. Oh well, it makes me feel better anyways.

Spendless day

February 16th, 2005 at 02:01 pm

Tuesday ended up going as planned. I did not buy a thing. Such a bonus.

I happened to be reading the forum on drying clothes and it got me started thinking about mine. I think mine were drying 2 days on the rack I just never happened to pick pick them up and fold them for 1 1/2 days. I never did like folding laundry.

Today will be another spendless day. I was perusing the grocery ads and found some deals. I'm going to have to put those off till Thursday. Tonight, I'm going to attempt to reupholster my chair. I have 5 weeks of class left, and I want to finish my three chairs and start on a fourth. I need to get moving.

Monday, Free Internet, Roth

February 15th, 2005 at 01:35 pm

I managed to avoid buying anything for Valentines. My boyfriend just reads the card and throws it out. Oh well. He's on a diet too, so no candy for him.

Even with that I managed to spend $50 yesterday. $30 on food and $20 on gas. Atleast both will last me over a week. I probably won't be spending anything till lunch on Friday and for some upholstery work Friday night.

The new laptop arrived yesterday! It is really really nice. It's not top of the line, but has a 15" screen and it's a bit heavy, but not to worry, I'm a weekend laptop person, so I won't be hauling it everywhere. So back to the story. Well we set it up and were checking it out, when the nifty little "Wireless connection found" bubble popped up. No neither one of us has the internet at home. It's really not worth $50 for broadband to surf. I can't handle a dailup anymore. I also do have a phone line. Anyways, I clicked on the link to connect to one, and lo and behold, there was 1 secure (bummer) and 1 unsecure!!! (Bonus). The signal was a bit weak, but not bad. So I walked around the house to see what else I could pick up. I managed to find 3 other secure networks, and 3 unsecure! Well stupid them, but great for us. We figured one might be from the Barnes and Nobles down the street, but we have no idea on the rest. That'll be nice to surf any time I feel like it. Only sad thing is that we're not logging into a secure site, so no finanacial transactions, it's not worth the risk.

Another side note, I transfered over a Roth IRA from a CD at a bank to another company. I had to do the 60 day rollover check and to snail mail it over. Well I was a bit worried, not enough to send it certified. But it arrived in my account today and I've already put it to higher earning mutual funds. I almost feel like I'm going to be rolling in dough...well almost...

The recovery day

February 14th, 2005 at 02:45 pm

Since the weekend was so much fun, I needed today to relax at work. It only took me about 2 hours and 2 cups of coffee to get moving.

I did make a small purchase today, and it has lasted me all day. I bought a small carrot cake with cream cheese frosting from the company bake sale. The proceeds are going to some charity. So that doesn't make it seem soo bad.

I vow to make tomorrow a no spend day, except for gas. I heard it's the cheapest on Tuesdays.

I spent less than I thought

February 14th, 2005 at 12:58 pm

Well the weekend was a blast. I had my upholstery class Friday and that went well. My chairs are looking so much better. I was getting a bit discouraged because they were looking kind of ugly. But now I'm happier. Then we went home for a few hours, and then out to the local bar. It was a blast. Here's a tip to make the night even cheaper, Volunteer to be the DD. I think I spent about $13 total. Saturday, I took my visiting friend out to eat and then headed downtown Chi-town. We were suppose to go to the museum, but we would have only had 2 hours...not worth it. So we did a little shopping. I bought 4 work shirts for around $50. Two were winter sweaters and those were only for $10.50. I love deals.Dinner consisted of lunch leftovers too. It was good the second time too.

Then we went out again. We went the a bar where a friend new the bartender. We went right in without paying a cover (Saved $20) Then up to the VIP lounge where he was working. We didn't have to pay for a drink. I had maybe 4-5 drinks and a shot to celebrate my other friend's birthday. I did feel bad for not knowing the guy and getting free drinks, so I ended up tipping him about $20. It was well worth it. It was a fun night.

In total I spent:
Dinner: $7 (for 2 with coupon)
Drinks $13 (hmmm unlucky?)

Lunch: $30 (for 2 no coupon)
Shopping: $53ish (4 shirts, and 8.75% sales tax)
Dinner: $0 (Leftovers)
Drinks/Dancing: $20
Transportation: $5.25 (Definate cheaper than driving and parking)

Groceries: $17 (I love coupons too!!)

Total: $145 and change. (Ouch, glad it's not every weekend)
Visit with friend from Texas: Priceless

Party time

February 11th, 2005 at 01:15 pm

This weekend is going to be pricey. I just know so. Tonight I have my reupholstery class. I figure I'm probably paying more than what it would take to pay someone else to do it, but it's fun. After that, we're heading out to the down. One of my friends is in town visiting and she likes to go clubbing. So we'll be out late. Then Saturday morning, we're going to the Field Museum. This should be a good time. I'm not sure what the special exhibits are. Then out for another night on the town. This time, downtown Chicago. Apparently someone knows a bartender at one club, so hopefully some free drinks will be coming our way.

Flex plan

February 10th, 2005 at 02:43 pm

Sooooooo, I did break down last night and spend a whopping $3.20 for a new power cord for my additional computer. Of course I haven't put it to the test yet. I did take it out of the packaging. Baby steps, baby steps. I'll get around to utilizing it tonight.

But the other big news. I had PRK (an earlier form of Lasik) done in the beginning of January. (Let me tell you, or myself in my journal, it's great!) So back to the story. I promptly turned in the forms and waited. I did check the progress of the claim and it got sent to my company late and made it here Feb 7th. It was only 4 weeks late, I can handle that. So it arrived on the 7th...but ooooh no, it was too late for our accounting. our pay period ended the 4th. That mean's they're sitting on my money for another 2 weeks. Oh well. I mean at least looking at the bright side, they cleared it all. I was worried about $300 of it because the date could have been questioned.

I will be super happy when I see that nice fat check coming. Granted it's replacing what was already spent, but it's just nice to see a BIG numbers. It'll let me dream that it's my full salary...haha yeah right.

A return

February 9th, 2005 at 02:03 pm

Yesterday was another no spend day, I even made money. I had to make a return. I don't think today's going to be as lucky. I need to buy a power cord for my other computer. My aunt gave me another CPU and I bought a nifty litttle device that allows you to share a monitor, keyboard and mouse with more than 1 computer. I thought I was going to have to dump my old one, or buy a second set of devices. Instead, I found this gadget and it was only $15. But I only have 1 power cord...hehe problem. So another shopping trip, but only $2-3.

I'm also refinishing/reupholstering three chairs. They were pretty ugly and dirty and formerly white. My other goal for tonight is to finish staining the last chair and then add varnish and I'll be ready to reupholster it. Soon I'll have 3 new snazzy green chairs.

On a roll, well almost

February 8th, 2005 at 01:23 pm

I'm on a roll, well almost, two days in a row for entries. I suppose now would be a good time to sum up yesterday. I didn't spend a dime. I even managed to go to the gym. I've been slacking my physical activity lately. Part of my non-motivation is the cold weather and my cheap membership ($12 as an add-on) I did buy a pilates tape and have tried that out a few times. Maybe that's why I don't feel as bad skipping the gym.

Well I'm going to try for another spendless day. So far so good.


February 7th, 2005 at 12:29 pm

Well I was trying to make it a cheap weekend, and it will be after some rebates. I managed to get some free food the week. My boyfriend and I had to do some work for his dad and then we went and ate at his restaurant and managed to take a lot home for the week. I will definately be eating in and well.

Then Sunday happened. I had been talking with my neighbors about using the internet via their wireless network, and got the go ahead from them. So since I only have a desktop, I had to go buy a wireless card. That was $50, but there are $30 in rebates, which I will promptly send in tomorrow. I also mananged to buy a $4 calendar. I can believe some people pay full price (unless it's for work).


February 7th, 2005 at 10:32 am

Oh...I forgot to say. If you any any comments, feel free to add them.

Trying it out

February 7th, 2005 at 10:23 am

Well here it goes. I think it'll be interesting to see what I write here as time goes on.

For starters, I'm a single woman, living by myself and about to turn 25. I just purchased a townhouse about 8 months ago. I moved from a much smaller city and cheaper cost of living to the Chicago area. It's been a little bit of challenge saving. Other than the mortgage, I haven't accrued any more debt (I always pay my bills in full). I do have some student loans which will take another 8 years to pay off. I also borrowed from my parents to make the down payment on my place. So I've got that to pay back. It's killing my that I'll have debt for the next 30 years. I hate it, even though it's not cc or a car loan.

I'm investing in a Roth IRA now. I have been for the past 5ish years. That's also killing me that I want to, but can't seem to put the max into my Roth. Part of my problem is that I see how much interest I can save on mortgage vs immediately putting it in a Roth.

That sums up a lot of my financial history. Right now my goal is to max out my Roth (and 401k when I'm eligible), while whittling away at the other 3 loans I have.