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Archive for August, 2009

What an interesting week

August 29th, 2009 at 07:55 pm

This week has been pretty busy.

I quit my job.

I will be doing some "stuff" in the math department at my school. I say "stuff" because they haven't actually decided what I will be doing most of the time. I will most likely be doing paper grading and some tutoring.

I am sad but relieved to be leaving my job. It is time that I start making more connections with those in my department. I will be working at my job until mid-September.

I joined "Intervarsity Christian Fellowship" and ended up spending 12 hours at school Thursday. I got to school early to meet with friends before my classes began. And then after my classes I attended the bbq that the club was hosting and then the group meeting.

I also changed my church membership from the church I have been going to for a few years to the cathedral. Fiance and I have been attending the cathedral for mass for about a year now and no longer go to the other church. I've been meaning to do it for a long time now, but I have always forgotten. The cathedral is on my way home from school so I no longer had an excuse of not being able to make it to the church when the office is open.

For my IS class we have several online assignments. I have finished all but one. Big Grin I hate it when teachers assign homework online. For one, I *always* forget about it until 5 minutes before it is due. Hence why I have finished most of the assignments already. I need to get them out of the way now or later on in the semester I am not going to have the time to do them or remember that I have those online assignments. For another, I do not learn well with doing things online. I learn best by hearing the material and writing out the problems step-by-step. Online assignments don't help me at all.

After spending 9 hours in the sun, I am exhausted. I was supposed to do the grocery shopping tonight but I think tomorrow will be a better option.

Don't miss TV at all

August 25th, 2009 at 06:44 pm

Fiance and I have a slightly older TV that would need a converter box to get the over-the-air channels.

Not wanting to buy a converter box right away, we decided we would wait until later to buy one. It's only been a few weeks, but I must say that I don't miss it at all.

When I came home from school today I did want to watch some TV. So I grabbed my computer, went to fancast.com, and looked through the shows. I watched an episode of Psych and then watched a couple cooking shows. Sometimes it pauses while "buffering" but that's no big deal to me. It gives me an extra second to soak it in. Lol.

I returned the textbook I did not need today and should be receiving the refund within the next week or so. I'm not sure how long refunds take but I have my receipt just in case.

I sold two more books on half.com! I will ship them tomorrow before I leave for school.

Aha!

August 24th, 2009 at 08:57 pm

I've had this sneaking suspicion that the two accounting textbooks required for my accounting class were actually one in the same.

Those suspicions were confirmed today when the teacher not only told us we only needed one of the two, but that they are in fact the same book. So tomorrow I will gladly head to the student store and return the $200 version and keep the $132 version.

Fiance and I ended up stopping by B&N today. I wanted to look at books so I would have a general idea of what I wanted to spend my gift certificate on. It didn't work though- it only made me more confused about what I wanted! There are so many books to choose from...

I picked up an application for the store. They are accepting applications (but not hiring) which means they probably won't give me a call anytime soon but it doesn't hurt to ask. So I will drop off the application the next time I am there. Though I want to leave my job, I am not in a huge hurry. If it takes a few weeks to find another job, I am ok with that. But the sooner the better.

$153.99

August 24th, 2009 at 10:26 am

Is how much money I have made on half.com this month. I have sold 19 books this month.

What started as four boxes of books waiting to be sold has become three boxes of books. I can't wait until they are all gone. Too bad I don't have a never ending supply of books waiting to be sold. Lol.

I will be receiving a $25 gift card to Barnes and Noble in the mail very soon. I have a credit card with them and they have a rewards program where every 2,500 points (1 point= $1) you get, you receive a $25 gift card for the store. It is automatic so I don't have to do anything (besides using my credit card that is). And no annual fee.

I'm thinking a buying a cookbook or two with the gift card. My dad said James Beard is a great cookbook author to look for. I was also thinking of getting a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. I could spend hours in Barnes and Noble (and frequently do) just browsing so it might take me a looooooong time to decide what to do with the gift card.

I called AT&T because I was worried about my bill. Or the lack of bill I should say. I signed up for internet about a month ago with them and no bill so far. So I called and the representative hunted down my account and told me they mailed my bill on Friday so it should be arriving within a week. If it doesn't arrive then, call again. I am very relieved to hear that it will be arriving soon. I thought I had missed it in the mail!

I did the grocery shopping this morning and spent $40.74. It was higher than usual because I had to buy cat food and litter. While there I completely forgot to buy notebooks for fiance and I so I must go back to Walmart again to get the notebooks. I won't buy them at the student store because one notebook will cost about $7! And I need 10 of them (or 2 five-subject notebooks...).

My first class begins in about an hour and a half so I have to get ready for it.

Last day of summer

August 23rd, 2009 at 10:42 am

Though it hasn't been much of a summer- I was either in school or working. Lol.

I have so much laundry to do tonight. Fiance and I are going over to my dad's to do the laundry and move a desk. I am so sore from the past few days at work that I doubt I will be much help with the desk. I hope he has food. I have not been eating much the past few days because of work.

Speaking of work... major drama going on. I have decided to look for a new job. I won't/can't quit until I have something else lined up, but I am getting fed up with my job. I am going to ask my advisor on Monday or Tuesday if there are any openings in the math department. Who knows, maybe there is something I can do. Paper grader anyone? Lol.

I will apply to places outside of school for a job of course. I will be looking a lot closer to home for a job. No more driving 14 miles to work everyday. There are plenty of restaurants and stores within 3 miles of my apartment that I can apply to. So I will look there.

Finally deposited my paycheck yesterday. $530. Of course all of that will be going to school related expenses. I still have to buy notebooks for my classes. I will get that at Walmart when I do the grocery shopping.

Which reminds me... I have to do grocery shopping. Darn. Why can't the groceries just appear in the fridge/pantry when I need them?

Turning Point

August 22nd, 2009 at 10:31 am

I'm a couple days late to this game but I'm going to do it anyway. :P

Let me start off by saying that my life the past few years has been... interesting. Hard to comprehend would also work. I don't think I have ever told my entire story here, just little bits and pieces.

I was not raised frugally. Just the opposite in fact. My dad made good money and was pretty good with investing. I grew up having most of what I wanted and everything I needed. My dad retired about 9 years ago and we moved to our current state.

The first few years after we moved neither of my parents worked. I remember being able to go into just about any store and being able to buy whatever I wanted. My friends joked that every time I went to the mall it was a splurge- which wasn't far from the truth.

Then my dad got restless and decided he wanted to go after his dream of opening a restaurant. He found a partner to help him, a fantastic executive chef, and a pretty good business plan.

This is where it gets complicated.

Turns out the partner was a con artist and a couple months after we opened slowly tried to kick my dad out of the company. We took out of mortgage on our home to pay for the restaurant (the house had been paid for in cash when we moved so that was the first mortgage we had on it). The restaurant was supposed to be paying my dad what the mortgage was each month plus interest. As she started gaining more control, the payments for the mortgage stopped as did his paychecks. The partner stopped paying taxes, worker's comp. insurance, and even some employees. After a couple months of fighting we got the restaurant back and was able to kick the partner out. But we could not save the restaurant.

We needed investors to turn the restaurant around and pay off the debts the partner made. But nobody would invest. We had to shut the restaurant down a couple months after that.

Few months later our house went into foreclosure and we had to move into a condo. Since I was starting college, I opted not to live with my parents and moved in with my grandma and a couple family friends. A couple months later my grandma and I got an apartment to ourselves.

During this time, a couple of the investments outside of the restaurant that my dad made went bankrupt and stopped paying. We since have received most of our money back but it was horrible timing.

My dad did a few contract jobs but never found anything steady. Then in March of 2008 he got a job in a neighboring state. It was supposed to last 5 weeks but ended up lasting 17 months.

When my mom died in October of 2008 I moved into the condo to take care of my brother. My dad could not come home for good because without his job we wouldn't be able to pay any of the bills. So I stayed with my brother.

My mom was never able to work because of her illness. Some days she could barely get out of bed so holding down a job was almost impossible for her.

I think the turning point for me, when I changed from being very spoiled to saving every penny I could, was in between when we won back the restaurant and when are house was foreclosed on. During my senior year of high school I was working 30+ hours/week to save money and help my parents out.

I still can't believe how much I have changed over the past few years. Though I was very spoiled, I was never bratty and I did appreciate everything my parents gave me. But I appreciate everything differently now. It is hard to explain.

That's my story- at least most of it anyway. I am not bitter about anything that has happened and I appreciate everything I went through. It made me mature a lot faster and made me realize what is truly important.

Today was a day of learning

August 18th, 2009 at 10:54 pm

Summer isn't even over and I am still being "schooled" each day.

Last night at the party a friend brought some fruit punch that was in a can. While someone was talking, I noticed the can read, "HI, ME $.05". I thought it was hilarious because I thought the can read, "Hi, me five cents".

Then just now, more than 24 hours later, I get what the can *really* reads: Hawaii, Maine five cents. Meaning, if you recycle it in Hawaii and Maine you get five cents.

And then while at work I discovered a new word for my vocabulary. A customer came up to my co-worker and I after the meal was over and said that everything was wonderful but her steak was a little sinewy.

My co-worker and I looked at each other: what the heck does sinewy mean?

My boss didn't know so we looked it up online. It means, when referring to a cut of beef, stringy and tough.

Which makes a lot more sense than what *I* thought it meant. Being a math weirdo, my mind immediately thought of sine functions. Sinewy. Couldn't figure out how a sine function can describe a cut of meat but that's because it doesn't.

So I learned two new things today; what did you learn?

(You can't say that you learned that I am incredibly blonde- that doesn't count!)

Had a lot of fun

August 18th, 2009 at 10:48 am

Yesterday was our housewarming party and it was so much fun.

Fiance and I started cleaning at about 1 pm for the party (started at 6) and I started dinner at about 4 pm. We took a lot of breaks from the cleaning so we finished just in time.

A friend gave us a huge basket with pomegranate tea and biscotti. Also in the basket was a tea set (cups and saucers) for four. It was so cute! I can't wait to use it.

Payday is Thursday which is a relief. For some reason a scholarship I normally get has not paid yet (and it always pays by this time). I need to go down to the financial services building tomorrow and see what is going on with that. I know I still qualify for the scholarship so I have no idea what is going on. I know I sent in my scholarship application on time. I hope it is just a glitch.

Random updates

August 16th, 2009 at 04:02 pm

I ended up not going to the party yesterday. Didn't really feel like it. So instead I watched some DVDs, went on a walk, did some cleaning, and re-planned the menu for my housewarming party tomorrow.

I sold two books today, making $11.46! Before shipping of course. My total for the month is now over $120!

And speaking of half.com, I have a confession to make. I bought a purse. Well, a tote technically. I used some of the half.com money to buy it. It was $51, including shipping. It's a really cute tote and very roomy making it perfect for school.

One of the things I will have to get used to now that fiance and I have combined finances, is having to ask permission to buy something. Well, not really asking for permission but more double checking that he is ok with a large purchase like that (and he was fine with it). I have never really had to double check with anyone before I made a large purchase. With my parents, any allowance money I earned was mine to spend as I wished as long I didn't buy anything inappropriate.

Do you take advantage of the freebies?

August 15th, 2009 at 01:00 pm

I got a letter from my bank today. They are offering me a free iPod 1 GB Shuffle if I agree to try Traveler's Advantage. The first 30 days of the Traveler's Advantage are free and after that it is $13.95/month.

I would love to get a free iPod Shuffle. Fiance wants one but we haven't been able to buy him one yet. Should I take advantage of this offer? I read through the letter and it said I could cancel anytime within the 30 days by calling a number. It doesn't sound like I have to complete the 30 days in order to get the shuffle.

I think I will take advantage of this offer. I'll cancel about a week after the Traveler's Advantage is activated. I just have to remember to be firm when I call to cancel.

I hope they don't send my a pink one- I don't think fiance will like having a pink iPod shuffle!

I'm very difficult

August 14th, 2009 at 10:27 am

Sometimes I wonder how people put up with me. Big Grin

I am invited to a block party being hosted by a friend. And I want to go but I also don't want to go. I don't feel like being alone tomorrow (no work for me but fiance works all day) but at the same time I want to be alone.

I need to figure out what I want to do tomorrow... I told the friend hosting the party that I want to come but also don't want to come. She laughed and said she gets it and to call her when I make up my mind.

It is quite the pickle, ain't it? I just got off the phone with fiance and I asked him how he puts up with me and he said, "Carefully."

I sold another book yesterday and that brings my total for the month so far to about $110! It is a shame that eventually I'll run out of books to sell and there will no longer be any half.com money coming in... but that day is far, far away.

The weirdest thing has been happening lately. The past several weeks I have been hungry all the time! It is so strange... I haven't noticed any weight loss or gain. I don't track my calories so I am thinking I should do that- track my calories for a few days or a week and make sure that I am getting enough every day. How many calories am I supposed to get in a day anyway? I have no idea. There's probably a few sites that I can use to track what I eat.

A really good sale

August 12th, 2009 at 09:03 am

I sold a textbook on half.com yesterday and made about $63 from that sale. That brings the total to $106.53 for the month so far!! I'm thinking of putting this money towards fiances' IRA instead of the textbooks.

I think I have lost something. I don't know what, I just have this feeling that I have. It is this nagging feeling that I have forgotten about something (either an item or an event or something else entirely) but I don't know what! I wish I could figure what is missing/lost/forgotten because I'm worried that it was something important.

Way too much spending

August 10th, 2009 at 11:58 am

Fiance and I have been pretty good about our fun spending. We went to the movies once ($18) and that's about it.

But school... omg.

Fiance and I bought our parking permits today. $200 for two permits for the entire school year. We went from a $200 permit to a $100 permit each. More walking but less money.

$200 for all of fiance's textbooks. $100 on my textbooks so far and I will spend another $3-400 on textbooks tomorrow. One textbook I might be able to split with a friend because we are taking the same class. We'll see.

Fiance has prepaid tuition so his scholarships are extra money. That will cover the cost of textbooks and part of my tuition (which is about as much as textbooks!).

I'm still in shock over how much my textbooks cost. In the past I have been able to get the textbooks for so much less. Guess I chose an expensive major and minor. :P

I sold another book today. I made $4.14 pre-shipping. Shipping will cost about $3. I'm going to apply this month's half.com money to textbooks/tuition and next month's money will go towards fiance's IRA. He didn't contribute to it last month. After we will probably use the half.com money for spending money. Every little bit counts.

Tomorrow I have to be at work at 5:30 in the morning! That means I have to get up at 4:30! Ugh. I like mornings but that is a little too early for me. This week I am working several days which is very good. My last paycheck was for $428 so this next one should be at least that.

I went grocery shopping today. I spent $26.48. Last week I spent $22.96. I have budgeted about $50/week on groceries so we are coming in way under budget. Next week's grocery shopping is going to be more expensive because I have to buy food for our party. I think it will add another $15-20 to our grocery bill, leaving us still under budget.

I have to do laundry at my dad's and I need to do a little bit of cleaning there today too. But it hurts to move! Fiance says the sunburn looks better today but I don't believe him.

Owww..

August 9th, 2009 at 05:52 pm

My back!

My friends and I went up to the lake and I got a bad sunburn on my back. I did use sunscreen, SPF 30. Normally that is enough for me. I wonder if the higher altitude had anything to do with it (the lake is a couple thousand feet higher than our town) but most likely I didn't give it enough time to set before I went into the water.

I wanted to go swimming after I got home by there is no way. It hurts to wear a t-shirt let alone the swim suit.

Aside from that everything is good. We are having a house warming party soon and I finally have the recipe planned out. I am going to make Parmesan Mushrooms and most likely Zucchini Fuislli. I might change the latter dish.

Tomorrow I will ship the books I sold. I haven't sold any others this weekend so hopefully I will sell more this week.

Wow!

August 8th, 2009 at 08:05 am

Fiance and I went to a movie last night. We saw "Julie and Julia". It was my choice. Smile Fiance ended up liking the movie- it was really funny. At some points, it had the whole theater laughing so loud you couldn't hear what was being said! Definitely worth seeing.

Yesterday I sold five books! One person ordered one book and another person ordered four!

Yay!

I made about $14 from the books, so that bring my total for the month to almost $39!!

I've made a decision about the textbooks. After doing a lot of looking on the internet, I have determined that the cheapest way to buy two of the three is through the school. So there goes $314. The third textbook I will order online for considerably less than what the school is charging for it. Tomorrow I will pick up the textbooks from school.

How long to let it sit there?

August 7th, 2009 at 01:27 pm

I sold two books yesterday, bringing my total for the month so far to about $25. I shipped them today and spent about $4 on shipping the two books.

I decided to go through my inventory and double check the pricing on everything. I even listed another item (a video game- $17). I noticed, though, that I have a couple books that have been listed since October 2008.

That's almost a year!

I'm wondering if I should remove the listing and donate the book. All of my books are in 4 boxes in the pantry. I don't need the space so I'm not really concerned about getting rid of the books in a timely fashion. I just don't want them and figured I could make some money off the books.

How long is too long to keep something listed on half.com? At what point should I accept that the book won't sell and donate it?

Or does it not really matter?

Oh, I have determined that I am not meant to be a plumber. I have the WORST luck with plumbing and everything related to it! Our garbage disposal broke yesterday and it has to be replaced. Fortunately, we're not paying for it, the apartment complex is.

But let's recap the past year and all the bad luck I have had with plumbing:
1. My apartment with grandma- my shower was leaking into the downstairs apartment and the workers tried several times to fix. Finally they decided that it would have to be replaced. I didn't have a shower for about a month and a half.
2. A couple months after my mom died and I moved back into my dad's place, we discovered some serious water damage. Turns out a pipe wasn't installed correctly and was leaking. Mold grew and it took about a month and a half for everything to get back to normal.
3. And now this! Agh. Let's hope it doesn't take a month and a half to get a garbage disposal.

Maybe I should just avoid any and all plumbing from now on.

Not sure what to do

August 6th, 2009 at 10:57 am

I went to the student store today to look for my textbooks. I couldn't find most of my textbooks online and wanted to see the books in person so I would know what I was looking for.

Turns out a couple of my textbooks have access codes that come with the book. Now I'm not sure if I should buy the books at the university or online.

I don't know.

And I think I accidently bought the wrong edition of a book. I received the book yesterday. But today when I looked at the book in person, it has a different cover! Same author, same edition, same copyright year... so why the different cover?

Tomorrow I think I will go back and compare the book I bought to the one on the shelf. If most of the pages are the same, then I have nothing to worry about. The other math textbook I bought is exactly the same as the one in the store so no worries there.

Ugh. Why does this have to be so complicated?

I haven't decided yet what I am going to do about the access code issue. I'm still looking around. Maybe the publisher's website will have the code sold separately and I can buy the book and code individually.

One of the books that requires an access code I can buy as an e-book. It cost about $40 and if I do that, it is cheaper than buying the regular textbook and access code (or the package being sold at school). I am wondering if it would be a good idea to buy an e-book. As long as I get the right edition and everything I should be fine.

I don't know what to do!

Another sale

August 5th, 2009 at 08:18 am

Yesterday evening I sold one of my more expensive books on half.com. My total for the month so far is $17.81. If I'm lucky, I might be able to off set the cost of one book through half.com sales.

I have purchased two of my textbooks so far. One I bought for $65 and the other I bought for $25. Neither was available in the international version. However I paid considerably less for almost brand new copies of the book online than I would have if I had bought them at school used. I can't find the other three anywhere, but I'm still looking.

A friend of a friend is an accounting major and has two of the books I need. I will be calling her tomorrow and asking her if I can buy the books from her. She might not want to sell them since she is an accounting major.

Small Rebate

August 4th, 2009 at 09:17 am

It pays to read everything carefully.

The dish set that fiance and I bought is made by Better Homes and Gardens. It cost $34.96 for a 16 piece set. When I opened the box, I noticed one of those subscription cards was included in the box. At the time I didn't think anything of it and tossed it on the table.

I was cleaning up today and picked up the card. It said I could receive a free one year subscription to BH&G with my purchase. I thought about it but decided I didn't want a subscription to BH&G. Just before I tossed it out, I noticed a little box of fine print. I read the fine print.

Apparently, if you do not want the one year subscription, you can receive a refund for $6 (the cost of the subscription). All you have to do is include a copy of your receipt with the subscription card.

So I mailed that off today. It will probably take a couple weeks to receive the $6, but I can be patient. Smile I'm glad something stopped me from throwing it away. Makes me wonder how much money I have thrown away without realizing it...

Checking in

August 3rd, 2009 at 08:09 pm

August is off to a good start so far.

I sold a book on half.com today. I will ship it tomorrow morning. Luckily we moved across the street from a post office so I don't even have to drive to ship the book.

I made about $5 before shipping costs so I am expecting to make about $3 in profit.

I'm doomed

August 2nd, 2009 at 12:25 pm

Ok, maybe not, but it feels that way.

I looked online for the list of textbooks I need. I need 5 books, and the total for buying them new at the university (none of them are offered used) is $491 for FOUR of the books. The fifth does not have a price as of now.

So I am going to look for international versions of the books first and then look on half.com and textbooks.com after that. I have a feeling though, that I won't be able to find one of them anywhere but the university. It is a binder of papers for the accounting class. I *think* it was put together by the teacher. And for some reason it costs $132! Crazy. Keep your fingers crossed that I can find cheap versions of all the books.

Last night fiance and I went shopping. We bought a lot of stuff and the total came to $100.96- the gift certificate was for $100. So we did pretty well. Smile We bought:
-16 piece set of dishes
-Set of three whisks
-Utensil caddy (not needed, but very useful!)
-Hand mixer
-Sheets
-Trash can
-Set of three glass casserole dishes
And I think something else but I can't think of it...

I got a free lunch today. A local deli offers one of those punch cards (buy so many get one free) and I found one on the ground the other day. I added the card I found to the punch card I already had (I frequent this deli) and I was able to get a free sandwich.

I'm off to hunt down some books.

I have some shopping to do

August 1st, 2009 at 04:13 pm

Yay for relatives!

My grandma and aunt have given fiance and I a gift certificate to Walmart. So the two of us will be going to Walmart later tonight to do some shopping.

July was incredibly busy. It really flew by and I just realized I only have a few more weeks until school begins. I can't believe my summer is 2/3 over!

I also paid a few fines this month. I returned my library books a couple days late ($1) and then the excessive use fee on my savings for excessive transfers ($10) and I just had an overdraft fee ($10) because a check was cashed that I was not expecting to cash so early. Oh well. Live and learn, right?

I'm hoping that August will be a little less busy. I haven't had much time to post or even read a lot of blogs here. I'm going through withdrawals! :P