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Stats and Pic Number 1

March 22nd, 2006 at 10:22 pm

Ooh those stats are pretty cool. I'm such a geek. Nothing like a visual picture for a pick-me-up from the afternoon doldrums.

I'll have to try the pictures... No that's not me. It was my guide while we were out deep sea fishing. I was the only one (beside the crew) that wasn't sick. I was also the only woman on the boat so they elected me to reel in our only catch of the day before we headed back to shore. It's my 25-30lbs king fish. Smile Here's the link to the Florida vacation: http://zorrozretirement.blogspot.com/2006/03/sun-burnt-and-relaxed.html

Florida and 80s

February 22nd, 2006 at 05:49 pm

It's been busy for me. It also seems like I start off every entry that way. I manage to pop in, do a quick, boring update, and then pop out. It must be the engineer and technical writing..Must be concise, no fluff. That's tough one to over come.

On the side though, I've been working on two other blogs. They sort of happened before this new format happened, otherwise I might have just made them here. I may eventually cross it over, once I see more bells and whistles here (such as adding pictures, links, etc). But I've had as much trouble finding time for those as I have for this one... It's nothing personal...hehe for any loyal readers haha. That and I feel bad just relating the same information here and there and trying to retype or put a different slant on things.

Now for the quick in and out. I'm heading to Florida for a seminar tonight. The seminar's till Saturday and I'll be vacationing til Sunday and fly back and go straight to work. We (my bf and I) are visiting with a friend who's working down there for FEMA. So our lodging will be completely free and we'll only have to pay for food Saturday evening till Monday. This includes buying lunch on Monday since I won't be able to pack anything. It will be a nice vacation uh I mean work-related seminar. Friday afternoon, they're taking us on a boat ride through the everglades and then on Saturday it's deep see fishing. I've always wanted to do both and here's my chance.

Well like I said up top, I'm busy and back to work.

Cheap hands on weekend

February 6th, 2006 at 10:24 pm

It was an easy weekend for me. We helped install 5 outlets in my bf's cousin's basement. Conduit and all...Romex isn't allowed by code. They bought us lunch and dinner that day.

Sunday lunch was paid for by his parents. We were snowed in...just a bit slippery to drive home. They bought us lunch on Sunday.

The only money I spend was on some clothes during the superbowl. I really didn't care enough to watch and I knew the stores would be empty. I found two cute shirts (bogo from Kohls) and then a skirt, bra and jewelry from the cheap (semi-trashy) store.

I even did a pinecone survey so I figure once I get the check, my shopping spree will be about $40.

Our Sunday dinner was 2 frozen pizzas with fresh cheese. Very tasty actually. There was just enough to for lunch today.

Luckily a vendor is coming in tomorrow and we'll have a free lunch.

Anniversarying Tomorrow

January 20th, 2006 at 09:00 pm

Smile (trying out smileys)

Yep, our anniversary is tomorrow. 7 years from that first kiss. We will be heading out to the Museum of Science and Industry for the afternoon. I have a membership so that will be less painful. Then we're heading out to a South American restaurant.

I was an exchange student in Brazil, and I'm always looking for Brazilian food in Chicago. It's really a tough one. A bunch of Brazilian Churrascharias (steakhouses) opened up within the past few years and that has helped with my saudade (homesickness of a sort).

Whatever dinner may be, I'll be ordering a caipirinha with it. Yummmm.

Afterwards we're going to a show. I don't know which one, only that we have tickets. This whole day was planned by my bf and it was suppose to be a complete surprise...but I kind of found out anyway.

It'll be a nice way to end this bearish week.

OOOh I like it.

January 16th, 2006 at 06:19 pm

This is nice guys. I think this is going to be fun.

Can I add pictures? I'll have keep wandering.

Anniversary present done!

January 6th, 2006 at 03:03 pm

So like I was saying yesterday (look two days in a row), I have that anniversary gift to do. Well now it's done! We went to target last night because the bf wanted a new video game that was on sale. He couldn't decide on which one, so I bought them both and a new controller. I was playing a fighting game with him a few weeks ago and lost horribly because I couldn't block. Turns out I broke the controller beating him a few rounds ago. (He'd disagree if he saw this now, so we won't tell him.) There went $75. Well it occured to us that we have a party on Sunday and no presents for the kids. We found 2 shirts and a pair of pants for each boy. I found a new winter hat and we were set. The total bill was just over $135. Shopping done. I just told him he had to wait till our date to open the second game. He paid for the Christmas presents for the kids and I got half the credit (oops) So I picked up this bill. He's happy with it.

He already has our anniversary planned out. A whole 7 years! gees. It'll probably be another 2-3 before married. Ugh! Time to just get it over and done with. But that's another rant.

Busy as always for the New Years

January 5th, 2006 at 05:05 pm

Of course I've been slacking lately. I think I got burnt out a bit from writing everyday back in March about those no-spend days. I also haven't been following everyone elses journals...so no motivations. Work has kept me busy lately and so has my blog. I've been updating that moreso.

Let's see... The year ended pretty well. I did most of my shopping over a couple of months before December, so my Dec cc bill wasn't bad at all. In past years, I've gotten hit by Christmas shopping in December and then in January a car insurance payment (in full for 6 months), anniversary, and Valentine's. So far I'm not doing too bad. I have a feeling this year will be mild, with the exception of an overseas trip likely to cost $3000.

No IPOD for me

November 23rd, 2005 at 04:11 am

I got my one of my Christmas presents a bit early...like last week. Well I got a snazzy little mp3 player. It was only $30 for 128mb. Not bad, considering it's so easy to change songs. There's only one bad thing so far. I have been listening to a lot of recorded books, due to my travels and I had hoped to download them onto the mp3 player and listen to while running. (Oops not gym tonight. Tomorrow I promise) According to my library I should have been able to transfer no problem. No such luck. I'm going to try ripping the mp3s from a real cd.

My library is awesome. it got rated one of the top in the country. Anyway, they started a new download audio and ebooks from their website. It's not the full library selection, I imagine from copyright laws, but one of my favorite authors has a few books on there. I'll just keep checking into it.

New car from the auction

November 18th, 2005 at 03:14 pm

So yesterday was Thursday and that means car auction day in Bolingbrook. Well my boyfriend has been on the hunt for a new car recently. He has his baby and a beater. Well he's getting rid of the beater right now. It needs some work, and he will just have his dad's mechanic fix it and sell it. So he needed a replacement. His dad owns a used car lot and so has dealer admittance to the auction. In the end my bf walked/drove away with a 2002 Infiniti QX for $14,000. Not bad. It looks in impeccable shape. It came from a dealer so it was clean and probably all fixed. He could probably put a for sale sign on it and make a quick $4,000- $5,000 on it. That's the price they were going for on Carmax. Tempting. I'm not sure how much he's paying for it in cash right now. His suzuki will go for about $4000, and then he'll just pay his parents back maybe $100 a month on the balance.

On another note. We're heading to Indiana Saturday. We have to take care of the car business and also do some quick work at the car lot. His dad really doesn't know computers and we create a flyer for him to put up in the restaurant. After that, we'll head to the restaurant. It's a Greek fast food with sandwiches and ribs and everything else. We'll definately take some home with us. Probably a stack of gyro meat, tzatziki, ribs, chicken and whatever else hits his fancy. btw, it's also the family business. Lunch for the next 3 days. yummy.

Reimbursements are over

November 8th, 2005 at 09:56 pm

Oh well, it was good while it lasted. My day trips down south are over. So that means no more car rentals and no more reimbursement checks. Frown I'll live. It was nice to see that extra come in every few weeks.

Hmmm...Otherwise, I'm still saving and trying to. I'm heading to Vegas for vacation the week before Christmas. My spending money will be a present to myself. I don't gamble all that much. I'm looking forward to a vacation.

I have done some splurging lately. I bought a really cute wrap. It was on the expensive side, but I figure I'd be able to wear it to some X-mas parties next month. My mom also bought me two pairs of shoes. They were only $20 at Marshall Fields (soon to be Macy's).

Roth milestone

November 2nd, 2005 at 08:32 pm

A few months ago, my Roth almost hit $20,000. Almost. It was short by just under $100 of the mark. Then the market took a bit of a dive and back down to low $19k. But with the recent market swing up, and my recent $500 deposit. I'm sitting on $20,300+...oh that's so nice. Now if only it will keep going up. Total gain since being with Fidelity in a year is almost $2,400. SmileSmile

X-mas shopping early

November 2nd, 2005 at 06:10 pm

I always have a horrible time buying gifts for my boyfriend. He comes from a very affluent family and tends to buy whatever he wants when he wants. They often give large gifts. Right now his mom is thinking of giving him $500 toward a new TV. His sister will spend $200+ or give cash. Well you get the idea. We typically spend $150-$200 on each other. I'd be comfortable spending less, as it's a sign of love, but I'll be fine for two times a year.

This year he's come up with a few ideas and they're very reasonable. Two ideas he's come up with are a portable harddrive and a humidor, and a dvd burner. I'm not sure on the harddrive price, but the dvd burner is running around $70 and the humidor is about $30. Very reasonable. Of course I'll have to find something he doesn't know about. But it will be so nice to get most of his presents out of the way. I think we're buying the burner tonight.

I haven't decided what I'm getting my parents and grandparents yet. Those should be very reasonable though.

Roth Away

October 28th, 2005 at 03:49 pm

It's been a while since I've poured my wallet out on the table. Hmmm. Saving has been going fairly well, but it's hard to see that. My cc bills have been very high for the last few months. Almost of it is gas and car rentals. I've been doing a lot of travel lately and driving about 400 miles one day a week for the last 6 months. It definitely made for a long day and lots of books on tape. Well I was renting a car and then have the miles reimbursed. So at about $160 it covered my expenses. I pay just under $40 for a car. I've gotten in good with the rental people and they give me a deal. Then it's about a full tank on any car for about another $80 even with the gas increase. That gave me about $40. A few times I was upgraded to an SUV, it made for a very nice ride but obviously ate more gas. So every few weeks I've been getting checks between $300 and $450. In short my cc bill looks high (By ~500), but my overall income has increased ~$600/ month. It's been difficult to track just by looking at my statements because they include my normal gas purchases....Long story short...the project's almost done. I have maybe 1-2 more trips. Yay!!!!

So I finished stashing away my hard earned after tax dollars into my Roth. I made my final $250 contribution for the year to max out at $4000. Next year should be smoother. I was playing catch up from 2004 in 2005. So my actual payouts this year were around $5500. It will be nice during the holidays to have one less "bill".

Saving otherwise: I signed up for auto billpay of my student loan, $90. It dropped my interest rate to 3.125%. I don't think I could do much better. I've minimized my mortgage payments to $760. I was making more but I'm saving up for a trip to Greece next summer.

Dry Cleaning on the Cheapo

August 27th, 2005 at 01:41 am

I love competitive markets!!!!! I previously lived in Iowa and granted cost of living was cheap, dry cleaning was not. Very rarely would I drop anything off, only if absolutely necessary. So it was ofter over $5 per item! Now that I've moved to Chicago, while the cost of living and entertainment has gone up (not a whole lot actually) Dry cleaning has gone cheap!! Normally it costs $1.75 per item. How awesome. But I had a coupon that saved me $0.25 per item. So with 2 dresses, 2 sweaters and 5 pants it was only $13.50!!! That would have easily been $50+ in Iowa. Ahhh I love it. I don't really do it that often though. I end up taking my pants there about once every 2-3 washes. That way I keep the nice crease and get the cat hair off.

Hmm otherwise. my CCs have gone down a bit this month. They were riding about $800-1000. Things for the house, going out in the summer. Part of that is going on trips for work which I do get reimbursed. But this month my ccs are just under $700. So far so good on my budget resolution.

I also should be receiving a reimbursement check in 2 weeks for about $350. That'll look nice since the bills will already have been paid. I should also be receiving another $5 from Pinecone. This will be my second.

On a sad note, taxes are due. I'm planning on paying it tomorrow. $1400ish. Not going to be fun. It's still better than having an escrow and still getting a bill for what the escrow doesn't cover and earning interest on the whole $2800.

saving

August 16th, 2005 at 02:31 pm

By baselle(08-14-2005 at 01:44 AM)
Cell & satellite - $74, which is about 15% of $498. I know you're probably under contract and its probably going to be more expensive to break the contracts than what you save ... but to the true frugal person, those are completely discretionary. Might want to figure out what you can do to lower your utilities - they look pretty low right now. Student loans consolidated? Parent loans renegotiated? Finally, while the Roth is important, its after tax dollars and you might want to think about lowering your contributions. Not talking about eliminating, just shaving bits from a number of spots to free up money to save.


Thanks Baselle. But I don't have a land line only a cell (no contract) and I do not have any reception with an antenna and satellite is still cheaper than cable (no contract). Student loans are consolidated at 3.37%. Parent loan is part of my mortgage payment of my down payment on my house, 4%. As for the Roth, I will not cut that out, $4,000/year. I'm 25 right now, and I definitely plan on being in a higher tax bracket when I retire. Right now my Roth has gained about 17% in 1 year.

A couple of expenses I did forget to mention:
Cable internet: $20 (split with my neighbor and not getting any lower)
Transportation costs to and from work: $26.50 (Parking and train)

On a positive note. I did pass up a White Sox game yesterday and saved $25 plus dinner.