Just barely though. :P
I have been so busy this past week and a half with school and work and family... I've been popping in and out, reading a post here and there, or reading a thread.
Last week I did try a new recipe, but it wasn't from any of the cookbooks. It didn't turn out too well. In fact, I hated it. Fiance insisted it didn't taste that bad but I think he was lying to me to spare my feelings. Lol. Tonight I will not be trying a new recipe, but rather a new thing.
Chicken thighs with bone and skin. I have NEVER cooked chicken thighs or breasts with the bones and skins. I always buy them boneless and skinless. But, it is more economical to buy them with the bone and skin still on. We'll see how it turns out. I've seen cooks add herbs and spices underneath the skin so I think I will try that.
School is going well. Info Systems is really boring but really easy. I really like my accounting class. The only class I don't like is probability theory. It is challenging, which I like, but I don't like probability. Which is a bummer because several people have told me to consider becoming an actuary.
Fiance and I are doing well with not spending a lot of money. We went to sushi over the weekend and got all you can eat for $30 for the two of us for dinner. We even got a coupon for the next time we go. But we both agree we won't be eating out again this month.
I will be sticking to Walmart to do my grocery shopping. Last week I went to a different grocery store that my friend said is really good and not expensive and ended up spending a little over $50! I got the same items I usually get at Walmart. So I'll be doing my shopping at Walmart for groceries, with the possible exception of fruit. Sometimes the Walmart here doesn't have the best fruit so I'll go to another grocery store (same shopping center) for that if I need to.
So far my half.com total for this month is $21. Not bad.
I think that is all so far... it seems so little to update on for the past week.
Viewing the 'Shopping' Category
Just barely though. :P
Thank goodness it is a three-day weekend!
Fiance is getting paid Monday and I was technically paid today. Today was payday but I didn't pick up my paycheck as I will be working on Sunday and can get my paycheck then.
Tomorrow should be interesting. A friend of mine, who I thought was married but is actually engaged (really long story), invited her fiance to visit her this weekend and I get to meet him tomorrow! I'm really excited. He sounds like a nice guy (but of course, he hasn't gotten my stamp of approval yet. :P).
Actually, both my fiance and I will be meeting her fiance tomorrow. We haven't decided what to do tomorrow. She was thinking of going out to dinner (fiance works until 6pm), but that's not feasible for us and I don't want her to pay for us. If she wants dinner, I'd be happy to cook for the four of us.
Fiance loves to eat breaded fish. We ran out of bread crumbs today (guess what he had for lunch) so I was going to buy some when I go grocery shopping on Sunday. But then an idea came to me. Walmart sells a loaf of French bread for $1.42 (about $2 less than regular sliced bread). I normally get one a week. But why not buy another loaf this week and use that for bread crumbs? It will be cheaper than buying a box of breadcrumbs and I will probably get the same amount, maybe even more. And later on, if I get good at cooking and baking, I can make the bread myself!
The recipe I plan on trying next week is a ravioli recipe. But instead of buying pre-made ravioli I want to make it from scratch. Dough and all. So I googled "how to make ravioli" and I found the coolest videos! This guy demonstrates how to make various pastas using a kitchenaid mixer and the pasta attachments. It was so cool! And he made it seem really easy to make pasta from scratch (that may be how they get you.. lol). Since I don't have a kitchenaid mixer (and consequently, none of the pasta attachments), I am going to be using a rolling pin to flatten the dough. Maybe someday I will get a mixer. When, you know, I have a few hundred dollars to spare. And if I find myself making enough things that would be easier to make with a mixer. They do come in pretty colors though...
I found this website, I think it is called moviewatchlist or something. You pay a small fee and can watch movies that come out in theaters. I'm not sure if you pay per movie or if you pay per month/year. Seems like a good idea. You can download the movies to your computer and watch them from home instead of going to the theaters.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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. We bought:
-16 piece set of dishes
-Set of three whisks
-Utensil caddy (not needed, but very useful!)
-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.
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
I'm really torn.
There is a cooking class in three days that I really, really want to take. It costs $85 so I'm a little hesitant to sign up for it.
Yesterday at work I got $45 in cash tips, totally unexpected. I was thinking of using the money I got for the class and the remaining $40 will come out of the paycheck I get tomorrow.
But... I also want to use the $45 to buy some things for our apartment. All we need now is some kitchen knives. I probably won't buy a full set, but just a few knives to start with.
I'm so torn! Fiance says to do both, and while I'm really tempted to do so, I don't think it is the best idea. We're combining finances tomorrow so we'll have about $9,000 in savings after tomorrow.
I feel like I've been spending a lot lately. When looking over what we have spent, we spent about $500 on stuff for the apartment this past month. That includes a bed, small appliances, cleaning supplies, towels, and some plants. Even though we have spent a lot, the vast majority of things in our apartment are from family and friends.
Plus we will need to pay tuition soon and buy books. Fortunately, fiance won't have to worry about that. He receives more scholarship money each semester than what his tuition is and can buy books with what he gets back. I, on the other hand, have to pay a little each semester plus books.
BUT...if I don't take the class, I will regret it. I've been looking forward to it and the class won't come again for a few months. And my dad has like three sets of knives and has said that I can borrow some knives until we can buy our own.
I think the way to go would be to borrow some knives from my dad and take the cooking class. Then a month or two from now buy some knives for ourselves.
I have this entire week off from work. Fiance and I have decided that the 25th (this Saturday) we will move officially into our apartment. My brother and I need some space from each other. So this week will be spent moving the last of our stuff into the apartment. I can't wait!
Today was such a busy day.
The maids came over early, which worked to my advantage as it gave me a jump start on my errands. After they left, I went to the post office, mailed a package, and then headed over to the student services building. I needed to get an official letter from the registrar that I am enrolled as a full-time student for the fall semester (my insurance will not accept a print out from the online registration). After that I had to go to the car insurance office to drop off some paperwork.
And then I went to the apartment, dropped off a bunch of stuff (purses, some clothes, the bikes) and did some cleaning. I lined all the shelves with shelf liner, washed most of our new appliances, and mopped the floor.
And then I realized I forgot to get a jalapeno pepper for one of the recipes I'm making this week. So I went to the store to buy one.
Yes, one jalapeno pepper.
I'm not quite sure how much I was expecting it to cost, but I was not expecting it to cost $0.02 (how much it did cost). I'm lucky I had a nickel in my wallet. I normally don't carry change (unless I find it on the ground) and I wouldn't have been able to use my debit/credit card for that purchase.
The guy ringing me up thought it was hilarious I was buying one jalapeno pepper. He asked me why I was buying one and seemed surprised to hear me say that was all I needed. He probably doesn't see a lot of people buying jalapenos one at a time.
I don't like buying things in bulk. It is just my fiance, brother, and myself (and soon will be just my fiance and I) and we don't need to buy food in bulk. Most of it will go bad before we eat all of it and our freezer isn't big enough to freeze everything.
Fiance and I have decided to go ahead and completely combine finances. He has a CD that will mature this Sunday so Monday we will add him to my savings. We might rollover the CD (with my name on it this time) or we might add that to our savings. We'll probably roll it over for another 3 months.
Last night fiance and I went to Walmart to get a few things.
$19 toaster oven
$25 bakewear set
$17 fire extinguisher
$9 first aid kit
$20 5 qt slow-cooker (probably too big for us but fiance did not want to get the smaller one that was $5 cheaper)
We also bought some pantry essentials: vinegars, stock, rice, pasta, etc.
I don't think we need to get anything else. Some sheets, but we don't need to buy a comforter. Everything else we got from family. Including a microwave.
I put off grocery shopping and now I have to do it. So I'm making a menu for this week right now. Whole watermelons are only $0.50 right now so I'm trying to find recipes utilizing that.
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!
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?
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.
I was introduced to a new vinegar today- Apple Cider Vinegar. I've never heard of it before. Apparently it is really good for you and it is pretty cheap. I got a 16 oz bottle for two bucks. I had trouble finding it in the store so I asked an employee for help. He said he knows people who drink it with water. I was very surprised to hear that.
I'm trying a several new recipes this week. Stuffed shells, risotto, and buffalo chicken salad. The buffalo chicken salad is the recipe that calls for the apple cider vinegar. All the recipes are linked in the dinner menus page. They are all from a new show I discovered: "Cook Yourself Thin" on Lifetime. I'm not trying to lose weight but I like how the show teaches you to make healthier substitutions when cooking.
I went grocery shopping today. I usually go on Monday but I was getting antsy and really needed something to do at 11 pm beside go to bed. So I went grocery shopping. Boyfriend totally thought I was crazy for wanting to go grocery shopping so late, but he tagged along anyway.
The total came to $89.04. I have to go to another store tomorrow though- Walmart doesn't carry scallions. Walmart was also out of zucchinis when I went so I'll be getting that tomorrow too.
Oh, I received my Kindle a few days ago. I'm sooo glad I purchased it- it's great! I'll go into more detail about the pros and cons of it tomorrow.
Ick. I hate it when the weather is like this. It's hot with high humidity and no breeze. I could stand it if there was at least some kind of breeze. So boyfriend and I are going to buy him swim trunks and then go swimming at the pool.
I paid my tuition today. You guys were right- I was only charged $25 in late fees because they weren't open Saturday and Sunday. I paid the second half of the tuition today too.
Turns out I need to get one more book for my class. It wasn't listed online but it is required. We won't need it until next Monday so I have some time to get it.
I went grocery shopping today and only spent $85! I usually spend between $95-105 each week. I'm going to try a few new recipes this week. I think what made the grocery bill less this week was that I didn't buy any beef.
I also got some green tea and herbal tea. I've never really liked tea but I want to try the various flavors. I have this strange urge to buy a teapot but I won't buy one until I know that I'll drink tea regularly.
I've been meaning to go to the storage unit to get some books to sell online. I really need to do that tonight or early tomorrow. I have some homework to do and I want to get the books before the homework starts to pile up.
ETA: So I looked online for the two books I am missing for my class. One is by John Locke and is available for free download on the Kindle. Once I get my Kindle (should be here by Friday!) I'll download Locke and use that for school. The second is available in the library so Wednesday I will check it out and make copies of the pages I need at home (for free!). I could have purchased a used one for $15 online but I don't know if it will get here in time. Whew! Glad I solved that.
Today was a good day.
My bike tire pump broke so boyfriend and I went to Sheels to get a new pump. Yeah, we could have gone to half a dozen places that are closer but Sheels is fun to walk around. We spent several dollars playing games and riding the ferris wheel. It's also near a beautiful (man-made) lake so we had a picnic.
Tomorrow we'll go on a bike ride.
I sold another movie on half.com! Before shipping I make $5.79. It will cost aout $1.00 to ship (DVDs are light) and I don't have to pay for an envelope.
I really don't want Monday to come. I don't want to take this English class. Unfortunately it is required. I'll just suffer through it.
that the thing you screw on a lamp after you put on the shade is called a finial?
That's all I have for today. Oh, wait, that's not true.
My credit card is being stupid. Amazon won't ship the Kindle until my CC is charged for the cost (naturally) but it is taking a while for the charge for the Kindle to go through. I'm not sure why it is taking so long. I'm not even close to going over my limit. Most charges go through within a day. I placed the order on Monday and it hasn't shown up. I doubled checked the CC number and everything.
I wonder if Amazon hasn't charged my CC yet. The item was in stock so I should have been charged for it immediately. Hm. Maybe tomorrow I'll make some calls- I am very impatient.
Mmm I spent money before I was originally intending to.
I bought a Kindle (from Amazon) just a couple hours ago. I should be getting it in 5-9 days- I opted for the free shipping.
I was planning on buying it later (in a month or two at least). I know I will be using this a lot (and I better for what it cost!)- I love to read and frequently carry multiple books with me. Carrying one Kindle versus a few books will be a lot easier.
Anyway onto why I bought it now instead of later:
A relative gave me some money on Sunday and told me to do with it what I wanted. With that money, along with the spending money I had saved up, and my half.com money, I had almost the cost of a Kindle. I say almost because it costs $359 and I had $330. But I know I will be getting the $500 from the complex in the next few days (confirmed this with management). I do intend to save the remaining $470.
I did a lot of research on the Kindle today and am feeling really confident about my purchase. A lot of students even use it for school. The summer class I'm taking that starts in a week is an English class and a few of the books we'll be reading are available for the Kindle for free. I fully intend to try it out for school. I don't see me using it for school much in the future though- even if my math textbooks were available on Kindle, I doubt I would buy them on Kindle. The screen is too small for a textbook.
I'll be sure to post about it when I get it and start using it. Anyone here have a Kindle (or any electronic reader)? I hope it comes soon!
It's been a few days but I'm coming up for air after many hours of studying for finals.
Mark (my boyfriend- I don't think I've ever used his name on here)and I found the perfect apartment! It's a few minutes away from where I currently am and is right across the street from a couple of my friends. It is in a great neighborhood and the apartment is beautiful. It has 3 large closets! One will serve as a pantry/linen closet and the other two will be for myself and Mark (we are each getting a closet- I have a lot of clothes!).
Best of all is the price. $625/month all utilities included! Can you believe that? All we would have to pay for is internet/cable/phone (or two of those three)! A co-worker of mine actually used to live there and she says it is a great place to live.
We have to go back in early July to turn in the application and everything (they won't know until then what apartments will be available for August). I'm so excited about this! In June we'll start going to thrift stores (there are two nice ones within walking distance) to get kitchen supplies and everything. My grandma is giving us some furniture and my dad will be giving us some duplicate kitchen stuff he has.
I'm going to go to the movies in a little bit. It's been months since I've been and I need a break from studying. So a friend and I are going to see "Star Trek".
I've been considering getting a Kindle2. The videos of it on Amazon make it seem really cool. I always carry a book with me and it would be nice to have access to several books in one device. It is expensive- $360. I'm thinking this will be my reward to myself for when I meet my goals. There's a very good chance I will change my mind later- I'm very fickle when it comes to shopping.
Anyway, that's about it for now. I hope everyone has a good weekend while I'm slaving away at my desk...
I finished buying all of the textbooks I need today.
I bought 4 online (half.com) for $30.40. I ended up saving a couple dollars per book after shipping was included. I did purchase two other books new at the bookstore because I couldn't find it cheaper anywhere else. I spend $11.25 on the books. The final book is the most expensive one. Available used at the school for $65, I got it free from a friend of mine who is currently taking the class. If she doesn't remember to give it to me, I can purchase it used of half.com for $40. Either way I save money.
So I spent a total of $41.65 on my textbooks. Had I purchased them through the book store I would have spent $114.25!
Thank you, internet! What would I do without you?
So my boyfriend and I looked at another apartment today.
It is a beautiful apartment also with a wood burning fireplace. This one looks at a lot better than the one we saw the other day. Better location too.
But it comes at a price. Rent is $675/month, no utilities paid. Not even sewage and trash. And we also have to have renter's insurance ($13/month is the cheapest).
I love that apartment but all utilities and rent would be about $900/month. Waaaaay out of our price range, considering we also have to pay for food and gas. Very unfortunate as I loved that place.
It is hard trying to figure out what we can afford, and what we can't. And it is very disappointing to learn we can't afford a certain place.
I'm going to list a budget for when we move out and I would like some input on it.
Monthly income: $500/month
Other income: $500/month from dad
Rent: $600 (highest we can go)
We'd be losing almost $200/month...
Our monthly income will probably be higher than $500/month. But our income does vary month by month and $500 would be a good average to use. I was hoping I wasn't going to have to rely on my dad but it looks like we might have to.
1. Find a cheaper apartment. We have found a nice studio for $550/month (mentioned in a previous post). Hopefully we can find more apartments in that price range. If need be we could rent a 2 bedroom with a roommate, but that will be a last resort.
2. Internet/Phone/Cable: We need internet for school but don't need a phone or cable. We'd be just find without cable and a landline (we have cell phones on our parents' plan). I haven't done a lot of shopping around for the price of internet service so hopefully this will be lower.
3. Food: I'm including cat food/litter and toiletries and household supplies in this category. I don't want to eat cheap, junk food just because it is cheap. But I'm pretty sure I can find a way to get all of this for less than $200/month. Just have to be creative.
4. Gas: If we stay near school we can walk or ride our bike to school. Unfortunately we both have to drive to work.
5. Gas/Electric: Do the obvious: energy efficient light bulbs, keep things off... We're not going to have a lot of appliances though. Laptops, microwave, TV, toaster, and a fridge. Everything but the fridge will be unplugged when not in use.
This summer we're really going to have to buff up our savings. But that will be difficult because we have summer tuition, I have car insurance and registration next month, textbooks...
Welcome to the real world, right?
I'm very glad we both have good savings. Boyfriend has more than I do (won't say how much because it is not my savings to share). If we have to dip into savings to make ends met, then we have to. Each summer we'll jut build up the savings again. And we're only two years from graduating.
Today was a weird day.
I got to school a little yearly and talked to a couple friends while we were waiting for the class to begin. The subject turned to the Mexican Swine Flu. One girl thinks it is man-made and a result of bio-terrorism. She launched into a big conspiracy theory about it. I didn't pay much attention to the theory but I don't believe it. I think this will pass as long as everyone is cautious and washes their hands properly, etc.
So I went to the grocery store today. I spent a whopping $142! But I went to two stores- Walmart for everything but chicken and salmon and a second store for the chicken and salmon. The salmon cost $20! I wonder if I should start getting that at Walmart. The Walmart near me sells good produce and meats, but the salmon today didn't look great. The second store is a lot more expensive, but their seafood looked more reliable.
I learned a lesson today in reading the product label thoroughly. I wanted to buy avocado for sandwiches but didn't want to buy a whole avocado- I just wanted the inside (does that make sense?). So while looking in the produce section, I saw this container that said "Avocado" so I grabbed it. I got home and discovered that it is Avocado veggie dip. It tastes weird on sandwiches but really good on crackers. I guess I broke even.
I'm going to try a new recipe tonight. It is this: here. It looks easy to make, but I'm not sure how it will taste. But it is always good to try new things, right?
My online payment to my CC went through just fine. I'm glad I figured out online bill pay. It will become very useful.
I'll start with the April Fool's prank I experienced today:
I always pick up change when I see it on the ground. When I was walking across the parking lot today I saw a quarter on the ground. I bent to pick it up and it didn't budge! So I hit it with my shoe and still no budging. I looked closer and discovered that it had been glued to the ground! I thought that was really clever. I wonder how many other people tried to pick it up but couldn't.
Onto the $72. I bought a PO Box today! Yay! I got it for a whole year. I'm using the PO on the way to school so it will be convenient to pick up my mail.
I've already changed my mailing address with the school and with my bank. I will also need to change my mailing address on half.com. I'm trying to think of other places I need to change my mailing address for. The DMV is one.
I may an impulse purchase yesterday, but one that is definitely worth it.
For my job I have to wear a white, buttoned-down, collared, long sleeve, plain shirt. No fancy buttons, etc.
And it has been extremely hard for me to find one in my size. But yesterday I ran into some good luck when my boyfriend needed to go shopping.
We stopped by Old Navy because boyfriend needed to get some clothes and while he was trying on the clothes I wandered off and did some browsing myself. I wasn't intending to buy anything, just wanted to see what they had (it's been a long time since I've been in Old Navy).
And there I saw it: shirts I can wear for work! I checked the shirt over- small buttons, buttoned up to the top, collar, long sleeve, etc. I grabbed an XS (last one they had too- I really lucked out!) and tried it on.
Yay! It cost $20 but well worth it. I now have a total of 3 shirts I can wear for work! In a few weeks I'll go back and see if they have anymore in my size. When I go back I will also look for a pair of black slacks. One of the two I have for work will need to be replaced soon.
We'll start with the good:
I got my paycheck today, it was for $258.51. So I put $129.26 into savings, $77.55 into IRA, and $51.70 for spending money.
And now the bad news...
I *kind* of went over budget today. I know, I know! Bad Cassandra! Tomorrow is my boyfriend's birthday and I finally figured out what to get him. I got him a $25 visa gift card for when he goes drinking tomorrow and a nice chess set ($50). I had budgeted $75 for his birthday so I went a few dollars over when you take sales tax into consideration.
But the real budget kicker was our little day trip today. I spent $19 on lunch for the two of us, I bought myself a $6 lip gloss (normally I wouldn't have spent so much on lip gloss but it had a funny tube!), $16 on fudge (it was REALLY good fudge!), $15 on gas, and on the way home I bought myself a small sandwich and drink ($9). Total spent: $65. Planned: $50.
Fortunately I have some spending money at home from the past couple paychecks that I haven't spent yet. I didn't think I would spend so much today so I didn't have enough cash for everything and had to charge the rest. Tomorrow I will go to the bank and deposit some of my spending money to cover my CC. So while I did spend more than I expected, I do have the cash to cover it. I just didn't have it with me at the time.
Ironically, the reason I left the rest of my money at home was because I didn't want to spend it all. We don't normally take day trips and normally we would have split the cost of it but because it is his birthday tomorrow I wanted to pay.
So I went over budget by $15. Actually $20 if you include the sales tax.
Ok, try not to laugh too hard...
So yesterday I had made a date with my friends. While I was waiting for them to arrive at my place I was using my laptop on the couch. The phone rings, I get up to answer it, and keep my back turned to my computer.
When the phone conversation is finished I head back to my computer and find my other cat sitting on the keyboard. I shoo her off and try to put in my password- but most of the keys won't type! I tried almost every key on my keyboard and discovered most didn't work. All the keys would go down when I pressed them, but my screen wouldn't show the letter being typed.
Just then my friends arrive so I close my laptop and forget about it until I get back.
I called the Apple store and explained what happened. The SA asked me what keys typed and I told him: the number keys, command, option, the keys with commas, back slashes, etc, and the letters M, J, K, L., U, and I (respectively: 0,1,2,3,4, and 5).
The SA asks me if the num lock is on. I tell him yes, it is.
The SA then tells me to press the num lock (turning it off) and try typing other letters.
I couldn't help but laughing. I've had this laptop for a few years now (I think I got it in 2005) and I am just now learning what num lock does. At least I had the sense to call the store before I drove the 25 minutes there.
Yesterday I did the grocery shopping and it came to $196. But we also bough TP, towels, shampoo, DO, soap, laundry detergent, and the fourth season of House. If it had been just food the total would have been around $100.
Well I am not working this weekend which is both good and bad. Bad because it means I don't make money, good because I can spend my boyfriend's birthday with him.
Which brings me to a problem... I have no idea what to get him. He says video games or something from a certain store, but there are problems with his suggestions. First, I don't know what video games he likes. And I feel weird getting him a gift card. Second, the store he mentioned doesn't exist! I looked in the yellow pages, googled the name with our city following, and I called 411. NOTHING! I even tried variations of the name but all I got were restaurants.
Friday is payday which makes me happy. I can't wait to see how much I can put into my savings.
I am no good at waiting.
Next Friday is payday and I want my paycheck now.
BUT, if I were to get my paycheck today, it would not be as high as when I receive it on the 20th. Win some, lose some.
But what I am REALLY wanting to get done is the countertops. They called and they are coming on Friday to put in the new countertops. It's about freakin' time! I first noticed the leak on January 24th. A plumber came by later that week and on Feb. 1 they began the process of removing the mold. And our kitchen hasn't been the same since. We are going on SIX weeks without a proper kitchen.
But even though the countertops will be done Friday, we are probably not going to have a sink until Monday. Why? Because the plumber is coming by tomorrow to remove the sink so they can put in the countertops Friday, and knowing this company, they won't be by until Monday to put the sink back in.
The bright side is that we did not have to pay one penny for any of the work done. Because the leak was caused by the pipes not being put together properly (maybe it was all that soda they were drinking...), the HOA covered all of it.
I'm going to go read. This week the homework load has been really light because spring break starts Friday! Yay!
After I finish these two books I am debating on whether or not I should get another book. The book in question is Bringing Home the Birkin by Michael Tonello. I can buy it on half.com for $8 (hardcover, only version available right now), but if I wait until August I can buy the paper back version from Borders using my gift card. Decisions, decisions.
Oh, and I decided to get a PO box. I'll probably get one at the end of March, so after I receive my paycheck. Do I have to change my mailing address with the Post Office? How about the DMV? Or does it not really matter because I am not moving?
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