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Archive for June, 2009

Monthly Totals

July 1st, 2009 at 02:35 am

Earned: $781.25

Saved: $323.90
- Savings: $202.44
- IRA: $121.46

Interest: $0

eBay Challenge: $49.63

Survey Money: $0

Overall a pretty good month. I can't believe how much I made via half.com. I hope July will be just as good!

Major purchase

June 30th, 2009 at 01:00 am

Today boyfriend and I finally bought a mattress.

We found a really good deal. Mattress, box spring, free delivery, and sales tax included for $299! It is a really comfortable mattress too, a Sealy.

Now the only other thing we have to buy is at least two dinning chairs. Everything else we are getting from family or can live without for a few months.

Unexpectedly, we are having a dinner party tonight. Boyfriend's two best friends (twins) are in town for only a couple more days (one is marine stationed in Japan and the other goes to school year round in Arizona). Because I pointed out to boyfriend that he doesn't have any more spending money (and can't go to the casino), he invited them over to the condo. Which is fine, but I have to somehow figure out how to feed 4 17-22 year old men who have stomaches the size of Mars on a meal that is only 4 servings (and I mean real servings- not the Americanized servings). I have a feeling I am going to come up with something extra to feed the five of us.

I finally got around to listing about half of the books I had found on half.com. I'll add the rest over the next couple days.

Two more days until we can begin moving in!

More packing

June 29th, 2009 at 12:57 am

I've been doing some packing every day this week. A little here, a little there. Yesterday boyfriend and I picked up some glass jars for the pantry. I will use them to hold things like flour, cornstarch, pasta, etc.

I'm really anxious to move in. 3 more days! Wednesday we will sign the lease after my classes and we plan on bringing several boxes on the first day.

I sold a couple more books. My total is around $45 now. This month has been pretty good. I found about a dozen more books to add to half.com. I'm not sure I'm going to add them though. It takes some time to list them all but I don't want to put in the effort. Lazy, yes. I'm not going to give them away just yet. I've put them in the box with all the other books I'm selling for the time being. I'm going to wait a few weeks to decide what to do with them.

I think I'm going to make spaghetti tonight. I've been craving spaghetti lately.

Billy Mays was found dead today. Cause of death has not been announced yet. May he RIP.

Pantry Essentials

June 28th, 2009 at 02:12 am

I'm really starting to enjoy cooking. It is fun- a lot more fun than I used to give it credit for.

Boyfriend and I start to move in on Wednesday (I can't believe it is so soon!) and I want to make sure we have some things in the pantry before we move in officially.

So, how do I start a well stocked pantry? When I moved into my dad's, I didn't have to worry about that. My dad has pretty much everything you could ask for. All I needed to do was to keep it stocked.

I have a list of items I would like to get to get us started but I feel like I'm missing stuff. Any thoughts?

1. Olive Oil.
2. Canola Oil.
3. Flour
4. Brown Sugar
5. Sugar
6. Buttermilk (dry, you add water)
7. Apple Cider Vinegar (quickly becoming a favorite!)
8. Some canned veggies (tomatoes, green beans, carrots, etc)
9. Cornstarch
10. Canned tuna and chicken
11. Chicken Broth
12. Pasta
13. Rice
14. Peanut Butter
15. Salt
16. Panko
17. Oatmeal
18. Some canned soup (chicken noodle, cream of potato, etc.)

That's all I can think right now. These are the items I've used the most frequently over the past couple months but I plan on trying a bunch of new recipes (and making some of my own!). I'm just not sure what else I need. I would like all the items in my pantry to be able to be used in several recipes, not just a few specific ones.

RIP

June 26th, 2009 at 03:08 pm

Both Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson died yesterday.

Regardless of how you might have felt about either, everyone deserves to be mourned.

May they both RIP.

3 More Gone

June 24th, 2009 at 05:22 am

Today I sold three more books on half.com to the same buyer. I made $8.12 after commission. Shipping should come to about $5 as I had to put it in two separate packages. If it would be cheaper to send it in a flat rate box, I will do that.

My monthly total so far is: $40.53.

I also listed four more books today for sale. Hopefully they will sell quickly!

I went to the school library to check out a couple cook books. I couldn't find them! Or, I couldn't find any I liked. The only ones I could find were vegetarian cook books. I did check out a few interesting food related books: Julie and Julia, Dictionary of Culinary Arts, and The Gallery of Regrettable Food. I checked out a couple others but I can't remember the titles.

Over $2,000!

June 23rd, 2009 at 01:10 am

Yippee! After depositing my paycheck I now have $2,113 in my IRA!

Along with this good news comes bad news. I think I lost the debit card to my dad's checking. I can't find it anywhere. There is a chance it was thrown out last evening. Hoping to find our trash bag, I went to the dumpster this morning but it had already been picked up by WM.

I'll search for it tomorrow morning before class and if I don't find it I'll call the bank when they open.

One place I haven't looked is my boyfriend's car. I might have dropped it in his car.

The reason I'm up at 1 in the morning...

June 21st, 2009 at 08:22 am

At work today I seemed to injure and bruise myself non-stop. It was just one of those days. Constantly bumping into things, running things over my foot... you get the drift.

And then I get home, park my car, get out and walk in front of my car and.. ram my knee into my license plate! Already a bruise is forming.

Sigh.

I got my paycheck today! The one bright side. It was for $404.88. So Monday I will go to the bank and deposit it. $202.44 will go into savings, $121.46 will go into my iRA, and $80.97 will be used for spending money. Which I've kind of already spent. Not all of it, only about $30. Agh.

You know, it is a lot easier to justify spending little amounts of money when you are already spending large amounts of money. Boyfriend and I both had a lot of expenses this month- car registration/insurance, parking permits, medical bills... And we started to let our fun money go slightly over because hey, we just wrote a $200 check to boyfriend's doctor, what's the big deal?

Luckily our "out of control spending" lasted only a couple days and cost us only $30. Well, technically $32 and change when you consider sales tax.

Ok, I need to get to sleep. I am way past my bed time.

Large book sold

June 20th, 2009 at 04:27 pm

The heaviest, and most expensive, book I had listed sold today!

The book old for $7 + shipping. After commission I made $9.02. I compared the prices of shipping it and Media Mail will be the cheapest. It will cost $3.16 to mail.

This sale brings my June total to $32.41!

Mattress Reviews?

June 19th, 2009 at 10:46 pm

Is there any place I can check out general reviews of mattresses?

Boyfriend and I are shopping for a mattress. We want a good quality mattress, as it very important to have a good night's sleep. I've never paid much attention to the different brands of mattresses and really couldn't name any brands or even tell you their general quality. I'm not even sure what brand my current mattress is. Lol.

We'll be gong to RC Willey tonight as they are having a sale on mattresses. I'm wondering though- are there any brands of mattresses we should avoid? We want to get a mattress that will last a long time.

I tried a google search for reviews of mattresses but didn't come up with much.

Does anyone know of any websites I should check out or have a recommendation of what type of mattress we should shop for?

Made up my mind about the permit

June 18th, 2009 at 03:58 pm

I finally reached a decision about the parking permit situation.

I had two options. Option A was to stick with my current parking permit and pay $205. Option B was to "step down" and go with the cheaper permit and pay $105.

My main concern was about walking to and from my car if I were to park in Option B. Since a shuttle does not stop in that area, there is less foot traffic coming and going. But I went over my schedule for the fall and the latest I get out is at 4 pm. Even during the winter, there is still some daylight at 4 pm.

So I have opted for Option B.

I also sold another book this morning! I made $3.48, bringing my total to $23.39 for the month. I'm starting to become a regular at the post office. Smile

6 down, 50 to go

June 18th, 2009 at 03:57 am

Woo-hoo!

Another sale! Another $3.28, bringing my total to $19.91!

A conversation about my sales went as follows today:

Me: My books are selling so much faster than usual.
Boyfriend: Don't you have more listed than usual?
Me: Yes.
Him: So doesn't it make sense that the more you have listed, the more chances you have to sell one?
Me: Shut up.

Don't you just hate it when SOs point out the obvious to you?

I've never sold so much

June 16th, 2009 at 10:45 pm

Honestly, I'm surprised at how fast my books are selling on half.com! I'm very happy though- the more that sells, the better!

I sold (obviously) another book today. After commission I made $3.28. This brings my total for the month to $16.63.

I don't think I will mail it off tonight- I don't feel like driving to the post office. So I'll mail it tomorrow before my classes.

My eyes!

June 16th, 2009 at 02:03 am

I tried a new recipe today: Potato-Zucchini skillet pancake.

It called for a cup of shredded onion and I must say: my eyes! Aaagh! My eyes burned and watered like you would not believe.

The recipe turned out ok- it was an interesting taste. I didn't have enough potatoes (it called for 3 cups, I only had 2 cups) though. Boyfriend really liked it, brother did not, and I'm on the fence. It was alright but I don't feel really strong about it either way.

I don't think I will be making the recipe often though- mostly because I don't like it enough to want to shred more potatoes, zucchinis, and onions. The recipe is linked in my dinner menus page if you want to see it.

I included a picture of it because I wanted to show you what it looks like:

Rechargeable batteries, Brita water, and another sale

June 14th, 2009 at 06:54 am

Oh my!

Today my boyfriend and I went out after we got off work. Amazingly we both got off at the same time even though we were both scheduled to work later than we did. We were scheduled to 6 and got off at 5.

So we had dinner out- or at least, I had dinner out. Boyfriend didn't eat so I couldn't pawn the bill on him- though he did eat a few of my french fries and I still maintain he needs to reimburse me for that. :P

Then we looked around Whole Foods. I don't think I've ever been in there before today. They have a lot of stuff and an amazing collection of just about everything. I was pleasantly surprised. I joked to boyfriend that Whole Foods is kind of like an amusement park because the one near us has a restaurant and a buffet. I won't be shopping there regularly because the prices are high, but I'd be happy to go back for some things.

Anyway, while at Whole Foods I found rechargeable batteries. I decided to pick up a pack. It came with 4 AA, 4 AAA, and the charger for $16 + tax. I was inspired to get this because of a thread on the forum. I don't remember which one, but someone mentioned rechargeable batteries.

Then we wandered over to Target because we didn't want to go home. While looking around we pointed out things we would like to get over the next few months for our home. We ended up buying a Brita water pitcher. We're not going to be buying a lot of stuff new. We agreed bedding will be bought new but everything else will be bought used when possible. We still need to buy a bed and I'm a little nervous about how much that will cost.

After we got home I checked half.com- and discovered I made another sale! Woo-hoo! Another $3.91.

This brings my new total for the month to $13.35.

Another sale

June 13th, 2009 at 05:14 pm

I sold another book this morning. After commission I made $3.48.

I'm going to mail it in a manilla envelope instead of buying an envelope at the post office. I had started to reorganize the bills after work yesterday (it is a lot easier than I expected because I already have a system in place) and while doing so I found a stack of manilla envelopes that I haven't used.

The book is going to CA so shipping should be cheaper than usual. I don't think I'll need to use Media Mail.

So Monday I will ship the book on my way to class.

Current June total: $9.44

And this is why you should keep receipts

June 12th, 2009 at 09:45 pm

I used to be very dedicated at keeping receipts. I would put the receipts in an envelope labelled with the month and the end of the year put the small envelopes into a big envelope for the year.

And now? Well there are some receipts under the bed, in the bathroom, I'm pretty sure I'm sitting on a couple too.

I just received a big kick in the pants today to get back to my super organized ways. When I picked up my meds about 2 weeks ago the pharmacist said insurance wasn't going to cover it. Weird, as my insurance has always covered it and there was no change to our insurance plan. So I called my doc's office and spoke to her nurse. The nurse said she would handle it.

I called the pharmacist today to make sure my insurance will cover it because I have to pick up my meds in two weeks. The pharmacist said that yes, my insurance is covering it, and it was supposed to cover it for last time. She told me to come by and they will reimburse me for the difference.

But what did I do with the receipt?

God only knows where it could be.

Maybe they'll give me the reimbursement without the receipt. Surely they have it on file how much I paid the last time I picked it up.

On a hunch, I looked over my ledger for my checking and savings- I haven't updated them in a month. Bills are scattered about too. The ones coming due are on my desk but the ones already paid are here and there and everywhere!

I really need to get reorganized.

Resisting the urge to shop

June 12th, 2009 at 02:30 am

Sigh.

Of course, when I have no more spending money I want to go shopping. There's nothing in particular I want to buy but I just want to shop. Tiffany & Co. is a terrible website to check out when you have no money to spend. Not that I would buy much from Tiffany- the prices are unbelievable! They had some really nice stuff though.

I've been upset the past few days. A few days ago would have been my parents' 23rd wedding anniversary. And the fight boyfriend and I had the other day didn't help my mood. Today was a pretty good day though.

I have to get my hair trimmed tomorrow. I've been putting it off for the last... 6 or 8 months now. Lol. What's prompting me to finally do it is my hair turned green. One word: chlorine. Fortunately it is mostly the tips of my hair that turned green. So I'll go to the hair cut place tomorrow and get a trim. I don't want to show up at work with green hair.

I'm also going to try to get my car smog-ed and registered tomorrow. If not tomorrow then definitely Monday.

Not much else to report on... 20 more days until we can move in. Though moving will be tricky to arrange with my work and school schedule, boyfriend's work schedule and his brother's (who will be helping us to move) schedule.

Wow, we're lucky

June 10th, 2009 at 09:48 pm

My boyfriend and I both did very stupid things last night.

He left his laptop in his car with all of his windows rolled waaaay down. I left the key to the house in the door lock on the outside all night.

His laptop was still there this morning and fortunately nothing was taken out of our house.

Talk about lucky!

I didn't make as much on the books. The shipping was $3.15 + .99 on the packing. So I made $1.82.

2 Sales

June 10th, 2009 at 03:45 pm

Listing all those books finally paid off. I sold two yesterday evening to the same person.

After commission I made $5.96. It will cost $2.77 to ship plus another $1 for the package... so I'm looking at about a $2 profit. I'll take anything.

Boyfriend and I had a huge fight last night. We're ok now but last night was not fun. After we made up we went to Dairy Queen and got ice cream. The fight started because last night I had so much homework and couldn't make dinner or do the chores so I asked him to come right home from work to help me. He got upset because he wanted to spend time with his friends. Ironically, the time we spent fighting and then getting ice cream took more time than the cooking and cleaning would have taken.

I'm going to be so happy to have my dad back home and me be able to move out. I love my brother, but he is causing a lot of stress between my boyfriend and I. My grandma has said that if I wanted to move into my apartment officially before my dad comes home she can stay with my brother until dad gets here. I am seriously considering doing that.

Speaking of moving, we are getting a sleeper sofa from boyfriend's parents. They have also offered us an entertainment center but I don't think we are going to take that- it is really big. They are still undecided about the book case but that's fine.

Has anyone been experiencing problems with SA lately? SA and the blogs haven't been loading properly the past couple days. Earlier I tried to make a blog and every time I clicked on "New Entry" I kept getting an error. I also couldn't read comments on others' blogs. And the forums have been loading weird too.

Hubcaps!

June 9th, 2009 at 12:56 am

I took my car to the mechanic today and the reason for the flat tires was discovered: hubcaps!

Apparently the previous owner put hubcaps on the wheels that did not fit and it was cutting off the valve. Somebody must have kicked my hubcaps and that made it deflate more quickly.

I joked to the mechanic: I never thought I would have to check the hubcaps on a used car! Seriously, who would have thought to check that?

I picked up my paycheck today. It was for $367.37 and went right into checking. I had to take about $50 out of savings to cover the smog/car registration and parking permit. I will get my car registered tomorrow and send off the payment for the permit too. So I wasn't able to save anything but I also didn't take anything out for spending money.

This weekend will be very very busy. I work Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. So my next paycheck should be larger than it has been recently.

End of the week

June 8th, 2009 at 02:51 am

I finished the essay. It took a lot of coercing to get me to actually sit down and do it, but between my numerous breaks I actually got a lot done. Honestly, I rarely procrastinate this much. But this assignment... maybe because it is summer.

I have made a decision about my future apartment: no plastic! I try to be as green as possible (cloth pads/towels/napkins, those light bulbs, etc.). I refuse to buy anything new that is plastic, but I would be willing to buy something used that is plastic. My dad and grandma have been handing us old kitchen supplies they no longer need. As time goes on we'll slowly replace things.

We are getting a lot of furniture too:
1. Recliner from my grandma
2. Dresser from my grandma
3. Writing desk that will be used as a dinning room table from my grandma
4. Possibly a sleeper sofa from boyfriend's mom
5. Possibly a bookcase from boyfriend's mom
6. Coffee table from my grandma

The bookcase will need to be repainted. I think a pale yellow would be good. Boyfriend and I have decided to go for "French Country" theme in the apartment.

Boyfriend and I have decided that we will combine finances when we move into our apartment. We'll get a joint checking account and all of our paychecks will be going directly into that account. At the end of the month we will split whatever is left between us to put into our savings. I know it would be better to save money first, but I'm not sure how much we'll have leftover each month for savings.

We're going to try this for a couple months and see how it goes. If there aren't any problems we'll keep with it. If there are we'll figure something out. We haven't decided if we will keep track of our spending. The main thing we have to worry about is keeping grocery costs low.

I have so much to do tomorrow:
1. Stop by lawyer office
2. Classes
3. Possibly sign lease- I need to find out when we have to sign it and they haven't called me back
4. Drop my car at mechanics (they are closed on the weekends)
5. Grocery shopping
6. More homework

I haven't even had the chance to make a menu for the week and the grocery list for tomorrow.

Definitely procrastinating

June 7th, 2009 at 05:29 am

I don't have anything to report on. I'm just putting off my essay. Here is my prompt:

"Eurocentrism: Using examples from history or particular writers we have examined, describe what it means to say that European Age of Discovery had a highly "ethnocentric character". Then examine the way that Montaigne uses satire in order to make Europeans aware of the ethnocentric biases in their attitudes towards New World peoples. What makes Montaigne's essay effective or ineffective in combating the cultural biases of Europeans? What practical effects might Montaigne hope that his essay "On the Cannibals" would have for the debate about the status of New World peoples and their treatment by colonizing Europeans? You can also bring in texts such as Columbus' letter and/or other assigned readings."

Blah.

I actually liked Montaigne's essay "On the Cannibals". It was interesting to read and discuss. But I'm totally unmotivated to write this essay.

I really need to rewrite the one paragraph I have...

The day refused to end on a high note

June 6th, 2009 at 04:02 pm

What a night!

The wedding yesterday went just fine. I got a little after midnight and a coworker and I walked out to our cars together. I get in my car, start, and begin to drive up the hill when I notice my front tire is being weird. So I pull over and look at my front passenger tire.

It's flat!

My coworker saw me so she drove me back to the club to get my other coworkers and boss and have them help me change my tire. It is then that we realize that the front driver tire is flat too.

Two flat tires!

Argh. Fortunately my spare was in my car (when I bought the car I forgot to check for that. You can bet that now I'll never forgot to check the spare on a used car.) so we changed one tire and the other tire we fixed with "Fix-a-Flat". It is this foam that is pumped into the tire. It essentially makes the tire a spare as you can't drive very far on it. But the foam fills up the tire and coats any holes.

I'm going to be calling my mechanics very, very soon. Chances are someone let the air out of my tires (who, I don't know) but I still want to get the tires looked over. Just in case.

And I still have an essay to write today.

Payday

June 5th, 2009 at 06:28 pm

But I'm not going to be able to save much from this paycheck.

Car registration is due- $219 and $20 for the smog check. I'll be going to one of the smog places that allows you to re-register your car there.

Parking permit for school is also due at the same time. $205 to renew the same permit. I'm thinking of "downgrading" and getting a cheaper permit. Father from the classes (of course) and it is cheaper -$105. I'm still deciding though.

I forgot to ask the manager of the apartment we're moving into when we need to sign the lease. I'll give them a call tomorrow. Only 26 more days until we can move in!

We are approved!

June 3rd, 2009 at 10:09 pm

OMG! I am sooooo excited!!

My boyfriend and I were approved for the apartment we love today!!!! Yay!

And the best part is that on July 1st, all we pay for the month is $150 (rest of the deposit)! The first month is free, something I didn't know before.

There is so much that needs to be done. And so many people to tell! In mid-August we are going to have a house-warming party for all friends and family.

I'm so excited! It's going to be so nice to have a place to ourselves- our first home (ok, apartment)!

Just waiting

June 2nd, 2009 at 11:33 pm

I was supposed to hear from the apartment complex yesterday about the applications my boyfriend and I dropped off. Still no word from them. If I don't hear from them by the time they close tonight I am going to call them tomorrow morning.

I am terrible at being patient. And I'm getting myself a little worked up over the application and how long it is taking them. Why is it taking them so long? What if they don't accept us? We need an apartment by the end of July- what if we can't find one? All of these "What if?"s are running through my head and driving me crazy. I am worried.

I'm driving my boyfriend nuts because of my worries- he's even telling me to stop worrying (he has OCD and worries about everything) about it and relax.

Ugh. I hate waiting.

Ok, onto other stuff. I've been doing some online window shopping of stuff I would like to get for the apartment but I really need to get my mind off of that right now.

Today I took my car into the mechanic. I got a lube,oil, and filter and tire rotation for $60. They also checked the brakes and the steering and everything else. Everything checked out just fine.

Payday is Friday. That's also the only day I work this week. I have an essay due next week so I am glad I can devote the weekend to working on it. I believe this Friday is also boyfriend's first payday at his new job. He likes working there. I miss him, especially when I'm studying for a test and I want to cuddle while reading. Oh well. It's worth it.

I've been wanting to go on a bike ride the past few days but have been unable to because of the weather. Our weather is unpredictable and the past few days we've had a lot of rain. Half the time it's drizzling and the other half it's pouring incredibly hard. And it changes every five minutes.

And then there were 56...

June 1st, 2009 at 08:30 pm

I finally got my butt in gear and went to the storage unit to get some books to sell. I came back with about 65 books to sell.

I listed most on half.com. Several were not available on half.com and a few others weren't in a good enough condition to sell.

I started yesterday with one item in my inventory on half.com and now I have 56! It took awhile to list all those books... but at least for awhile I don't have to worry about not having enough inventory.

Now I just sit back and wait for something to sell.