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Power outage, Super Bowl

February 3rd, 2013 at 05:55 pm

This is bad, someone forgot to pay their bill :-)
They should be a member of SA.

Eye of Round - That was easy!

February 3rd, 2013 at 04:09 pm

Whenever I see eye of round on sale there are usually several people lined up to buy a few. I finally bought one (over 4 pounds for $9 for the whole roast). I've googled how to cook the massive beast. Well it turns out it's easy and fantastic. Preheat the oven to 500 F. Sprinkle thyme, garlic, and ground pepper on top. When the oven is pre-heated put the uncovered roast in the oven. Turn down heat immediately to 475 F and cook for 7 minutes per pound. Turn off oven and keep the door closed for 2.5 hours. Check that internal temperature has reached 125 F. Allow to rest for about 15 minutes. Cut thinly and serve. In my case it was too cold so I heated up a gravy and poured it on top. It was fantastic! Now that's cheap and cheerful!

Contract worker looking for a permanent position

January 30th, 2013 at 07:25 pm

As noted on my side bar info I have a job that I love. Sure, I have the day-to-day OMGs and WTFs that we are all facing. So I'm facing a bit of a challenge as I saw the perfect permanent job (with benefits/vacation and long term employment) and I sent in my resume.

It saddens me that I might have to leave a job I love. But it probably offers a salary that's more than 25% more than I earn. It has a retirement plan, paid vacation, full benefits, and stability as long as I do a good job. It's also closer to my home.

And it's not as though I'm in my 20's. I'm beyond the point of seeking a career building opportunity. I'd like to have a job for another 10ish years and then retire. I'm not remotely interested in taking on more responsibility. The ideal situation would be if my current employer bought into a new job level and paid me what I should be paid and offered me a permanent job. The improved job market suggests to me that some employers may lose valuable employees because new jobs are finally being posted.

I can't stand being disloyal. Thoughts?

52 week challenge - a change of plans

January 26th, 2013 at 03:13 pm

I've decided to change direction on the 52 week challenge. The yatzee one appealed to me but I'm not that disciplined to keep it up. So I've set up an auto deposit of $24 per week into my emergency fund. It's the amount of money I used to spend on cigarettes each week. I'm on day 14 as a non smoker. If I get to November and my line of credit isn't gone I will use it to clear off the balance. I feel good about this plan.

Success! Sell Off Challenge and Smoking

January 19th, 2013 at 12:31 pm

Success on two fronts! I sold two items on Kijiji today for a total of $235. I gave my son a $5 fee for his help so I have $230 plus a $3 pinecone cheque to go to my LOC. Hurray! I'm also on day 7 without cigarettes. Not one puff. I know could start again in a heartbeat. Staying away from smokers for a while. Will update my sidebar soon.

I'm feeling broke

January 16th, 2013 at 05:02 pm

I've got the cash flow blues. As some of you know I don't have any cards that carry a balance except for the one I'm paying off. I'm an Amex gal. Gotta love a card that needs to be paid off in full every month. But since much of my Christmas and corporate spending is on there it can really affect my cash flow every once in a while. I'll be back to normal at the beginning of February. I need to get started on that Christmas fund! I've been saying it for a few year. This year I have to make it happen!
And Day 5 of no smoking. Better today.

Day 4 as a non smoker

January 16th, 2013 at 05:20 am

The nicotine patch is great! It's the stupid habits that are getting in the way. Fortunately the dreams are bizarre but I am not having nightmares. Last night I was smoking in my dreams. The overall dream theme was that I lost my car and was walking with a co-worker all over the city trying to find it. In reality I was so angry last night. No reason, just withdrawal. This morning I am weak - fortunately there are no cigarettes in the house or I would likely have one. Well maybe.

And I missed my SA friends yesterday. I still can't log in. I have to go to an old post and get in that way. I should probably reboot.

Jonesing for a smoke

January 13th, 2013 at 09:46 am

I've got the patch on, nicotine lozenge parked against my gum. I've thought about lighting up at least a dozen times in the last few hours. No cigarettes in the house thank goodness. I've brought out the camera and taken a few pictures, just finished a sketch in the old sketch book. Time to try a few glasses of ice water. Last cigarette was at 7:00 pm last night. Jonesing is just such a perfect word to describe my physical and mental withdrawal. The big part is the habitual activites - eat, smoke, read, smoke, TV, smoke, phone, smoke...

Sell Off Challenge 2013

January 12th, 2013 at 11:32 am

Just checking in to see how everyone is doing. None of my listings have sold and my e-bay buy now has expired. Share your successes!

The sell-off challenge 2013

January 2nd, 2013 at 06:09 pm

In the last few days I've listed three items to sell on line. I have been working on a list of sellables in my home and have about 15 items so far. Not sure how sales will be just after the holidays but it's worth a try. If anyone wants to join me I'd be happy to have the company. My goal this year is to sell $1,000 worth. I'd love to target $100 per month but will settle for the $1,000. Anyone in?

The $100 sell off challenge for January

December 28th, 2012 at 07:54 pm

I've read a few blogs about a challenge for January. Is there someone here that will coordinate it? I'm off line for several days but would like to participate.

Found money and just thinkin'

December 27th, 2012 at 11:28 am

My total amount of found money year to date is $29.13. Definitely worth my effort. My DH thinks this sort of thing is of little value but I actually enjoy the chase!

I have a huge Amex bill due on the first of January. I love my Amex as I am not loading on new debt as it is due in full every month.

It will take me part of January to recover from this huge payment. So I'll be back to paying off my final credit card debt in three or four weeks. I am planning on paying of the balance of $8,850 this year by the end of November. So I'll be thinking on how I'll do it over the next day or two. One way will be to continue to auto debit every pay in the amount of $125. My tax return will add about $1,000 I think. Mileage and other expenses (found money, surveys, taste testing, etc.) will also be thrown at it. I will be doing the ebay challenge but I don't have much faith in ebay as most of my items are decorative and not exactly in high demand in January.

I also need to get some funds for a week or two off unpaid for medical care for my sister who is on the transplant list for yet another liver. I'll be her primary care giver when she is released from hospital. Rather than complain about it I consider myself fortunate to have a boss who understands and have the option of continued life for my sister. (Well that last statement is rather stupid!!!:-))

I'm thinkin' about how all this fits together. It's so great to have options. I can make this work. I just need a few more thoughts to solidify so I can make a firm plan.

Donations to my cause are welcome, natch. For your convenience I have paypal!

A ridiculous rant - why am I so angry?

December 20th, 2012 at 03:50 pm

I know this is ridiculous. I have a great life, somewhat balanced (doesn't look like it today:-))
For some crazy reason I am really pissed at my colleagues. I've worked like a dog this year, harder than most. Yet this year I did not get one single holiday gift. Nothing from my suppliers, my bosses, of which I have three. Nothing from the company I have been assigned to help. Nada. In the '80's we were always comped with gifts and cash. I know things have changed. But not one thing this year. And I gave out gifts and cards too. But what really makes me mad is this anger and bitterness I feel. Really? Even though I am financially secure, employed, and loved? So I'm mad at myself. I can't figure out if I expected to be thanked in the form of a gift. Is it because I feel entitled, or am I just materialistic, or what? Last year the gifts flowed. Any input would be appreciated. I'm not usually whacked out. But today I am!

End of year summary - debt payoff

December 10th, 2012 at 05:20 pm

Bahhh! My payment last Friday to my line of credit has not hit the account yet. But I'm going to post my year end results anyway because I have just made the last payment of the year.

In 2012 I paid off $8,870.00 in debt. In addition, I added $382.60 to my emergency fund. My only remaining debt is $8,850.00 on my line of credit (revised target was to get it below $9K this year). So the VISA is gone! My line of credit is down from $12,435.00 to $8,850 now sitting at 8.4%. I am using my extra funds this month that normally go to the line of credit to pay for Christmas expenses.

I can see that the line of credit will be gone in 2013. I'll have to up the payments a bit so it's done by the end of November to ensure I have more cash flow in December for the holidays.


Gotta do the gratitude thing

December 8th, 2012 at 07:15 am

It's been a very full week or two. Much to report financially and otherwise. First, to focus on the positive:

I am very grateful to the wonderful medical team at our local hospital. My husband had ACL surgery this week and is now hobbling around nicely. We are very fortunate to have access to good (and kind) medical professionals.

I was recognized for my contributions at work this week, twice! I am thankful that this employer appreciates my work.

I am very grateful for my job in general. I have hit my financial target this year due to timely payment of my expenses yesterday. Will post my success as soon as it hits the account.

My family has received extremely bad news about three family members and their health. I have not quite digested all of it and can't even get it into words on a page. However, I am so very fortunate to have a very good, strong, supportive, and loving family and circle of friends who are supporting us.

And again, I am grateful for my savingadvice.com buddies for sharing their lessons - both good and bad.

Wow, it's a wonderful life!

Great deal, and an update on giving up the smokes!

December 5th, 2012 at 03:21 pm

Thank you all for your best wishes regarding my quest to quit smoking. Sometimes it all falls into place. Last night I was given 4 boxes of patches with nicorette gum. This means I get to try two methods without investing in something that might not work for me. Next week I have a meeting with a different agency who provide 5 weeks of patches free of charge if you plan to quit within 30 days. That would be me! What a gift! I've been using the mints I bought last week and they are fabulous. So far I've avoided 7 smokes. I wish I could say that's per day but no, 7 smokes over the last few days. Better than a kick in the head as my Mother would say.

In other news I scored on a Christmas gift today. I was looking for a duvet, and they run about $200. I found one on sale that was a very good quality marked down to $99. The plastic casing was damaged so I asked if it could be marked down further and they gave me another 10% off at the cash. And once it was scanned it was actually down to $49. With the 10% off the final tally was $43! Now that's an amazing deal.

Update on quiting smoking and what's with the spam?

November 29th, 2012 at 07:08 pm

I just finished my 4th class on smoking cessation. It sure is different from the old days. Long ago it was run by the lung association and only discussed the medical implications. Now they discuss neurological habits (ie - body responses to lifting your arm), habits, reframing by during neurolinguistic programming, withdrawal and available aids etc. This is working for me. When I started the class I expected my success as a one out of ten. I was a three out of ten on Tuesday. But today I tried a nic mint and it worked! Mind you, it only made me delay for 45 minutes but I wasn't nutso coo-coo needing one. It was strictly a habititual smoke break - I finished reading the paper, therefore outside for a smoke. I'm thinking these new aids might work this time. I think I'm up to a four out of ten!

Meantime, what's with all the famale spam that's on everone's page. Can't this get blocked by the moderators? Please?

I think I'm going to hit my revised goal

November 25th, 2012 at 06:39 pm

Just watching the Grey Cup and have had a relaxing weekend. I needed it. Fighting a cold. Again. Hosted a wonderful dinner on Friday. And will be joining in the family Christmas festivities on December 15th and 16th. One of the things I've learned from tracking expenses is the many items I spend money on but didn't budget for. So to my list I will add the neighbourhood Christmas gathering (a pot luck gift exchange plus byob so need to budget at least $50, the friends Christmas gathering (probably $125 including gifts, wine, food), and the family gathering (food and wine so likely $75). On a good note I am not hosting so I've likely saved a good $250 that would cover a cleaning lady, food, bar, etc. One other event that needs to be in my budget is my "Sista" shopping day. It is probably one of my favourite days of the year where we go shopping at a mall, have lunch and dinner, and laugh until we convulse. Looking at my tabs I need to add another $60 easy for the food. Logic tells me I should not participate but it's just so outside our normal routine of being frugal and it brings us so much joy so I'll keep it in. So all in all another $300 that I need to include in some sort of play fund.

I am looking forward to next weekend where I will be able to blog the reduction of my line of credit to under $9K. As long as my expenses go through. Perhaps I'll have to wait until the week after that.

My regular contribution of $125 per week plus any surplus funds will be suspended as of November 30th to cover Christmas gift expenses. I will be back at it in January.

I can't imagine what it will be like in December 2013 when I am free of this line of credit debt. I am practicing my happy dance.

Celebratory dinner

November 6th, 2012 at 05:26 pm

I took myself out to dinner tonight. A wonderful $7 dinner at Whole Foods. Outstanding. Now you might recall that I've been cutting way down on eating out at lunch. I spent $28 for all of October so I am very happy with that.

But tonight I treated myself as I waiting for my meeting to start. I have joined a smoking "butt out" group at our local hospital. Good for me! I ranked 10 out of 10 on my motivation to quit smoking but 1 out of 10 on the chances I'll be successful. That's something I'll have to work at because I really enjoy smoking but it's making me sick too often.

So the celebratory dinner was so very worth it!

I'll keep working on the lunches. Room for improvement for sure, but that's only 4 lunches out of 23. Not too bad.

Unfortunately I just stocked up on my cigarettes and I'll have to figure out how to sell off the extra 2 cartons I bought. Surely someone will buy them...

And hey, to lighten up the meeting I asked to sit in the smoking section :-)

Hosting Christmas? Not this year.

October 20th, 2012 at 06:35 pm

I finally decided to opt out of hosting Christmas this year. I've hosted more than 12 Christmas parties for the extended family over the last 15 years. And it stresses me out! And that makes me crabby. It also makes my chronic disability much worse. And then I thought about it on the financial front. Between the cleaning lady (don't laugh - it saved my marriage), making sure the bar is stocked, and providing the main dish, etc. it can really add up. Everyone is very generous in contributing but as a hostess you still have to ensure that everything from the Christmas crackers to the ice are on hand. I felt I had to have everything covered in case someone didn't bring the right amount.

I also host a late Spring family event every May/June.

So I'm free! Some guilt but I think it's better than the stress. Are any of you in the same situation where you fulfill an obligation and then come to resent it? Any confirmation that I am not being a selfish cheapskate is appreciated - oops, guilt is creeping in...

New side bar updates and the importance of an emergency fund

October 15th, 2012 at 07:13 pm

I am doing yet another happy dance, or perhaps to be current, the Gangnam dance (google it if you don't get the reference). I finally have the line of credit under $10K. I am fortunate to be able to get a good mileage payment for all of my meetings and that's helped a lot. In an effort to get the balance under $9K for the end of the year I am doing all sorts of things for extra cash. Tomorrow I have another food tasting event that pays $20. Lots of Pinecone surveys that I do as soon as they come in. I'm also cutting down on expenses for lunches - last week I spent $3.57 in total for the whole week. Mostly because I had three days where others bought me lunch. And I brought my lunch to work the other two days.

I want to thank you all for your support on this journey. I'm so grateful to read your blogs and get new ideas as well as your feedback.

On another note, I added $70 to my emergency fund. I'd rather put the money toward the line of credit to cut down on interest costs but I received good news about my sib. Some of you were on board when I asked for support when my sib had a liver transplant. Well, she needs a new one as this one is failing. We just found out she may get one in the next 6 months! Good Lord, I thought we were a few years away but the guide lines have changed and she's been put on the short list. I was laughing with her yesterday about it. Darned organ failure! It really messes up the finances :-)

Haven't blogged recently, but I have a plan

October 3rd, 2012 at 08:01 pm

The original plan was to pay off $5K on my line of credit. Looks like I'll only hit $3,500. And I'm ok with that. The original balance was $12,500 and it looks like I'll get it to $9K by year end easily. So I needed to set new goal. My goal for the rest of the year is to see how much extra income I can generate to decrease the balance from $9K. Perhaps I can gather another couple hundred bucks. Join me on my journey to see if I can hit a few hundred bucks in the next 10 weeks. The good news is that I'll likely get a $1,000 tax refund in Spring of 2013 so that will bring the balance down to under $7K. Since I paid off my debt in excess of $8,700 this year it looks like I will be debt free by the end of 2013!


Paid off another $500

September 26th, 2012 at 02:01 pm

Cut back on a few things and received a large mileage payment to find the $500. I'm down under $10,500. I can see the $9,000 by the end of the year. Hey, I might even starting visiting local wishing fountains-that'll pay it off faster :-)

Line of Credit under $11K

September 11th, 2012 at 03:38 pm

Finally under $11K! Exactly $10,957.97 to go. Targeting to get under $10,000 by the end of October, early November.

No money spent on lunches last week

September 9th, 2012 at 08:09 pm

I did well last week and didn't spend anything on lunches. No vending machines either. I have the lunch supplies for this week as well including fruit and nuts. I did splurge and spend $1.25 on a cat toy :-)

Do you ever get to the point where you just want to go to the store and just buy something? I've hit that point and I actually bought some junk food today for the family. Including $4 on ice cream (on sale of course!). I haven't bought ice cream in 6 months? But I could go wild and buy new flooring and Christmas items. But I am resisting as I wrestle the line of credit to get it under $11,000. Will meet that target this Friday or next.

The gremlins are here up north as well

September 4th, 2012 at 02:47 pm

As posted earlier by another blogger, the gremlins are here as well. Drove a half hour to quickly take care of housekeeping issues at head office. The payroll system was down for maintenance so I was unable to put in my expenses; I tried to pick up my laptop that was in for updating and IT couldn't find it; and the supplies I needed from the old storage area on the 5th floor were not accessable because the old freight elevator was out of service. Too much stuff to carry down 5 flights of stairs. I hate wasting time!

Looking for Petunia 100 - dog update

August 29th, 2012 at 06:26 pm

Hello Petunia

Can you give us an update on your dog and your neighbour?

Lunch made for the week, meal planning done

August 19th, 2012 at 05:35 pm

A very good weekend. Did my budgeting, looks like I might meet that goal of getting under 11K on the LOC by mid September. Lunches are made for the week, as well as a few sweets which is what tends to send me to the vending machine. I'm slightly over budget on the groceries because I found two sale items for the freezer, and was $65 under budget last week so I'm a little low on the basics. So far it's going really, really well with writing down everything I spend. As much as I hate it I really do love knowing exactly what I spend.

I'm looking forward to a good week!

No lunch expenses last week and 2 NSD

August 18th, 2012 at 12:03 pm

My planned lunch date fell through at the last minute so no lunch or vending machine items purchased all week. That's a first in many, many years. And I had 2 NSD this past week. Don't think I've ever done that before in this lifetime. Was able to do a taste testing for $20 and will add this to the LOC debt payment. It feels good!

Tracking spending and lessons learned

August 12th, 2012 at 01:50 pm

I've always asked that my lessons be gentle ones. Tracking my daily spending has revealed some spending that I haven't included in my budget. Fortunately they are small items that are indeed gentle. Three items I need to include are vitamins, parking for medical appointments, and grocery spending while at the cottage. I completely overlooked the vitamin costs and the parking expenses. Perhaps $30 a month in total (won't know until I do a summary - I see an excel spreadsheet in my future). I also include the extra grocery costs in my budget when I do plan to go up north, but I didn't include enough.

Another lesson is that I need to start putting money into my Christmas fund throughout the year. Here's a very good reason: while away I came across a wonderful store that I have been to many times but it's pricey. They are going out of business and everything is 40% off. Naturally I had to capitalize on this opportunity. I bought ten Christmas gifts plus stocking stuffers for $272. Fastastic savings but not a planned expense. And it should have been as I start Christmas shopping early every year.

This is week two of planning lunches. I know I have a luncheon on Wednesday that I need to pay for. It's in my budget. While on vacation last week I thought about ways to make it more create and healthier. I've stocked up on fruit. Off to make the lunches.

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