Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Frugal weekend, but had lots of fun...

This past weekend I stayed home and really enjoyed my new condo. I sat out on my deck when it was nice and had dinner and wine while watching the sunset. On Friday night a friend and I went to the Folk Life Festival and had a great time just wandering around and taking in all the culture. Didn't buy a darn thing! Saturday, I was up with the chickens and was out walking. Came home and read a book for awhile and finally figured out how to download music onto my iPod that I had received for Christmas! Yeah! Another friend came over for dinner on Saturday night and we watched a few tapes of our favorite shows to catch up. Sunday, again up with the chickens and out the door for a good long walk, this time in the rain! Yikes! Oh well, came home and had a nice hot shower and spent the day inside reading and baking cookies. Did some crossword puzzles and went to bed early. Monday morning, up and out the door for a walk in the beautiful sunny morning! I went to Ikea later and bought a runner for my hallway for only $19.99 no tax this weekend! I was pleased with this purchase as I had been looking at a runner for $300! I definitely feel like I got a bargain! Monday evening went to see Pirates of the Caribbean 3, good, but pretty gruesome! The little theater downtown shows new movies for only $7.00, which is much better than $9.75 at the multiplex! So, all in all a fun rather frugal weekend. I finished my book early and didn't have a thing in the house to read for the rest of Sunday and all of Monday. I must hit the library on my way home tonight or while I am out walking. I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend as well!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Tomorrow I will eat..........a lot!

Tonight is the end of my food stamp challenge and I can't wait to have a really nice meal tomorrow. I like to eat, frequently and quite a bit at a time, so this has been really hard for me. I have found that I am not as alert or thinking as clearly during this week, not to mention that I have been so tired, I have gone to bed early every night. This challenge has certainly made me realize that it is just as important to fuel our minds as it is our bodies with the food we eat.

I hope everyone makes it a great weekend, be thankful for what you have and take some time to reflect on your life. Best wishes all!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I am on day 4 of my food stamp challenge

and it is getting really boring. I am not very creative I guess when it comes to figuring out what to eat for only $21 for the entire week. Needless to say I was happy to see Single Ma's post that typically people on assistance were not eating on such a small budget, I can't imagine being able to make it. This is the 3rd meal of spaghetti that I have had, along with 2 grilled cheese sandwiches and lots of Cheerios and toast. This little project has made me realize that I can probably cut down on my food budget in some places, but that I would rather find a different area in which to save. I like to eat way too much to be able to make it on such slim pickins. I will continue on until Friday, but not happily! Oh well, if nothing else, maybe I will drop a couple pounds.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

How I saved $50 today....

This morning I had an appt. to get my hair foiled, a partial foil and a haircut. Now I use to go to a salon that would charge $100 for the partial foil and the service included a haircut. So, even if I didn't need a haircut, I would still pay $100 either way. A long time ago I would go to a beauty school to get my hair done and I remembered it being fairly inexpensive. So, I called and made an appt, it would be $49.95 for a partial foil and $9.95 for a haircut. So, I booked my appt and was happily counting the $40 I would save over the other salon. The gal on the phone mentioned that coloring was the special that month at the school and if I went to the website, I could print out a coupon to save $10! So, now I am getting my haircut and foiled for half the price of the salon I had been going to, and I get the good feeling of helping a student get more experience. Plus I don't have to try to make conversation with the annoying guy that had been doing my hair. Now I could either get my hair done twice as often and still spend the same amount yearly, or I can keep up my regular schedule and spend half as much. I think I will enjoy putting that extra money into my savings every month. :) Hope everyone is having a happy, healthy and fun weekend.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Could you survive on foods stamps?

I receive a monthly newsletter from Food Lifeline with information in regards to feeding the homeless and less fortunate. I also volunteer my time there. This months newsletter had an interesting challenge that I have decided to take on. As a single person, if I were to receive benefits, the amount I would receive would most likely be around $21 for food for the entire week. That averages out to only $1/meal, no snacks. The challenge is to see if I can make it the entire week shopping only with $21 and feed myself and manage to keep myself from going hungry while doing this. I will keep a food journal and a journal of my shopping trips. Should be interesting. My 7 days will start at breakfast tomorrow morning. I'll keep you all posted on how it goes. I have a feeling I won't be liking a whole lot of what I will be eating. I tend to open my refrigerator and even though it is fairly full, I can't seem to find anything to eat. Does anyone else do this?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Getting back into the swing of things....

Now that I have moved in to my new condo and am starting to feel settled, it's time I got back to watching the budget and being more conservative in my spending ways. I am back to cooking for myself every night and bringing my lunch to work again everyday. I had pretty much run through all of my groceries before moving so there wasn't much there when I decided to start cooking again. I made a big run to the store and am pretty stocked up and should be for quite some time. Now it's time for me to plug the leak in my spending that seems to have occurred during moving. Now I am the type of person that once motivated tends to go overboard when jumping in to something. I will work on trying to tighten up my spending, but not making it so tight I squeak! Does anyone have any suggestions on finding the happy medium? Now that I have debt again, I look at my mortgage balance and I think, "I just want that debt gone!" I know that it's not a realistic thought, so please help me out here! Thanks! As always, make it a great day!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

out of control spending....

Seems to be the song I am singing lately! I hate it when I go through spurts like this. I know a lot of it is due to moving into my new condo and wanting to have it all set up the way I want right away. And thankfully this month I haven't had to pay rent or my first mortgage payment so there is room in the budget to play a little. Maybe that's why I feel like I am spending so much money. I think I will have to really take a look at it and see, I bet I am really spending less money since I didn't have a housing payment to make. I'm just not use to shopping so much! Seems like every time I come home I have a bag or 2 to carry in with me. My next big purchase coming up is going to be area rugs to cover my hardwoods and I have found a wonderful place to shop for them with reasonable prices. The online site is www.rugsgalore.com and they have free shipping! I am lucky that they have a store near me that I can go and see the rugs up close, I've been and they are beautiful. They even let you take them home for 3 days to see if you like them before you have to pay for them. Hopefully this next weekend I will find what I am looking for and will really feel like things are settled in at my place. I have also decided that I probably won't take a "real" vacation this year, instead I will use my vacation time in long weekends and enjoy my new condo and the amenities there. Along with some pampering like massages, manicures and pedicures and the like. Should be relaxing and easier on the budget. Plus there is so much in my area that I haven't ever seen, I think I will play tourist in my own town. I hope everyone is having a wonderful spring and is sticking to their budget better than I am. :) Make it a great day!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Another windfall....

This condo thing is very interesting! I received a phone call on Friday afternoon from the condo office saying they needed to talk to me about my unit. I called the gal back and she said there was a discrepancy in the measurement of my condo unit. Seems that they first surveyor incorrectly measured and was off by 61 square feet. Unfortunately or perhaps fortunately for me, the condo is actually smaller than what I was originally told. So, they were offering 1 of 2 options to solve this problem. They would either purchase my unit back from me at my purchase price or refund me 3% of my purchase price. I thought about it a lot over the weekend and decided that I didn't want to move, wouldn't know where I would move and the fact remains, it is still the same condo I fell in love with. So, Monday morning I called the gal back and said I would like to take the 3% refund, but that I would also like to purchase a storage unit. So, I picked up the appropriate documents, had them notarized and received my check for 3%. I then wrote the developer a check for my storage unit and have come out way ahead still. Also nice is that now I have a storage unit that will help add to the resale of my condo later. :) Yeah! So, I have started to build up my savings again with the extra money, purchased a storage unit and am even happier with my condo now than I originally was. What would you have done?? I'm curious!

Friday, May 4, 2007

A nice little windfall....

So, I have just moved into my new condo and I will be looking at my budget and obviously having to do some tweaking of it since I now have higher housing expenses including things like condo dues. Now I have unpacked all my boxes and am really getting settled in and I love my new digs! I was the first person to move into the complex and everything is so shiny and new and it's great. So, I checked into my condo dues and who do I pay them to, when are they due, etc. Turns out, I don't have to start paying them until the entire complex is done, which won't be until probably Feb. 2008!! Yeah! That's a savings of $200/month which I will put into my savings account as if I were making the payment already and it will add a nice cushion to my savings. I also found out I don't have to pay my electric until then either because it is easier for the developer to pay it all together and it's a nice bonus for those of us living through the inconvenience of construction. Gotta love it when you can save money like that! Certainly will make it easier for me to buy the couple things I need in order to really make my new place feel like home. Make it a great weekend everyone! :)