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Archive for February, 2012

New tires

February 29th, 2012 at 07:39 pm

Well, today I put some serious money on my Citi card. I got a flat tire, and I ended up replacing all four tires. (I knew it was inevitable -- they are old). I got some all-weathers with 85,000 mile warranty on sale for $121 apiece. Threw in an oil change, and the total bill with wheel balance, recycling fee etc. was $616.

Yesterday I charged a $20 gift card, and tonight I will charge a dinner and our honoree's dinner. (The others will pay me back in cash).

Yesterday I gave in to a McDonald's craving at lunchtime and got a double cheeseburger, shamrock shake and fries! Not good for the budget or the waistline, but things are so unsettled at work I am needing comfort food. This morning I went to the cafeteria and got a muffin even though I had a piece of quiche for breakfast! Well, the cold isn't helping either. Don't they say feed a cold? Smile

I'm really excited about dinner tonight. It's at a Mexican restaurant that's pretty special. And we have a fun group going. My only worry is that I might fall asleep at the table. I woke up at 12:30 this morning and could not fall back asleep. I am pretty sure it was only an hour or two before the alarm went off that I finally fell asleep. I didn't think I was worrying THAT much about the job, but when I slept, I dreamed I opened an email that said our VP had died suddenly. Yikes!

I forgot to send the check for the booth rental -- it's due on the first, so I had to ask my friend who lives there to do it. I'll send her a check. I hope that next time I get there, there will be a check for ME! It's been a couple of months.

I sold a couple of books on half.com this month. Both were free to me, so I'll make a little pocket change.

And I had a free lunch today for listening to a presentation on SAD disorder. Chicken salad, roll, cookie, lemonade. I think I'll make a point of transferring $10 to savings every time I get a free lunch, because it seems to be happening frequently lately!

Upcoming work expenses, and free food

February 28th, 2012 at 02:31 pm

Things are going to get expensive at work, with two key people leaving. There are three meals out planned (yes, one person is getting two; a formal lunch for the whole staff and an informal gathering for her friends). Donation gathering is taking place. I have committed to giving $50 toward an Apple Store gift card. Usually I don't give that much, but this is my immediate boss, who has gone through a lot, and we all want to give her something toward her dream gift: an i-pad. The gift for the other person will be smaller, but there is probably a big group gift ask coming, too. Oh well, it's not like I don't have it, and I do really like the people involved.

Last night I went to a presentation by the daughter of one of my colleagues. She had been on a mission trip to Thailand and helped an organization that works to help young women who are at risk for getting caught in sex trafficking. Very disturbing and eye-opening. A free meal was provided -- a very nice one, in fact -- salad, breadsticks, ravioli and sorbet.

Sometime later this week I am supposed to go to a presentation on SAD disorder which will also provide a free lunch. These will help offset those meals out. Smile

I still have about 7/8 of a quiche, a 2-serving chicken noodle casserole and about 4 cups of pea soup to eat -- maintaining the ebb and flow of food for a single person can be a challenge sometimes.

Just random stuff

February 27th, 2012 at 03:55 pm

I did go see "The Descendents" on Saturday night -- free, of course, with my AMC gift card. I still have $10 left on it.

I liked it, and it was fun to see an evening movie with a big crowd -- something I haven't done in years. The theater complex was so busy I had trouble finding a parking place, so I guess the movie business is alive and well.

On Sunday, my cold was rearing its head, so I stayed in all day, which was kind of a shame since it was so nice outside. I showered only to dress again in a fresh pair of pajamas.

I made a quiche, and because there was some egg/cream liquid left over I also made a small breakfast casserole. Then I made some split pea soup, since I still had half a bag of peas left. I used bacon bits instead of ham, we'll see how it tastes. I brought some for lunch today.

I watched Episode 6 of Downton Abbey during the day and in the evening watched the Oscars. I'm also reading the latest Sarah Paretsky book. I love to read her V.I. Warshawski mysteries because they're set in Chicago.

I sold another book on half.com. This one only .75 -- it's one I've had for a long time and I'm kind of surprised it sold. I'll pack it up tonight and send it tomorrow.

A fun day

February 25th, 2012 at 10:27 pm

So far it's been a delightful day. I went to the grocery early in the morning and spent my $20 on food and another $16 on other items. The food I got for $20: bread, bacon bits, cream, walnuts, and brown sugar. Not a lot, huh? Part of the reason is that a got a big bag of walnuts, which was $10, a quart of cream and 2 lbs. of brown sugar. I am still trying to get the best unit price even though I am limiting myself to $20. The cream and bacon bits are to go into the quiche I'm making (I already have the cheese, eggs and pie crust). I always keep walnuts around, because they are low-carb and good for lowering cholesterol. Brown sugar -- well, I can't eat my oatmeal without it.

The non-food items were deoderant, vinegar and 2 bags of candy. Wait, you say, some of those are food! Well, the vinegar I use mainly for cleaning, almost never for cooking, and the candy is going to work so I'm counting it as a gift. Every once in a while I have to feed the candy kitty at work.

After the grocery I stopped at the library to get my state tax form. I also found two books to check out and I bought some used books -- mostly children's books to have at home for my grandchildren. $1.75 spent there.

After unloading my groceries I went to see "The Artist" using my AMC gift card. It was wonderful! I didn't know quite what to expect, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm planning to go back tonight and see "The Descendents." Then I will have seen the two top contenders -- and I've already seen Hugo -- so that will make it more fun to watch the award show tomorrow night.

After the movie I stopped at Portillo's for lunch. Someone had recommended the tamales. When I ordered, I asked for tamales, and the clerk said, "How many?" I didn't know how big they were, so I asked, "How many should I order?" She said she would recommend two. Well, the tamales were pretty big, so I ate one and brought the other one home to have tomorrow. Pretty yummy, though, and cheap! Only $1.69 each. The whole lunch was $7.56 -- two tamales, onion rings and a drink.

And then I went to Kohl's to look for a winter coat. I found one, too -- not exactly what I was looking for -- but I wasn't really sure what I was looking for anyway, other than warm! I bought a Fila puffy jacket in turquoise and purple. It's very casual. It'll be great for weekends, and it will do for work, too, on casual days. It's very warm, and the colors look surprisingly good on me. But the best part is the price -- $46, marked down from $220!

Now I'm just kicking back until my next movie. And that reminds me. When I was at the theater, it struck me that there was nothing to keep me from walking into another movie after I'd watched the first one. How do they monitor that? Or do they just assume that some will take advantage? I've always wondered. Has anyone ever worked in a multi-plex theater? (Not that I'm planning to, I'm just curious).

Oh, and I also got a $5 Target gift card in the mail -- can't remember what I did to get it! So I counted that in my extra income, along with 3 pennies I found!

My boss quit

February 24th, 2012 at 01:42 pm

Wait, there's more.

HER boss quit a few weeks ago. I don't think I mentioned that before. But with both of them going, that makes a bigger impact.

They will be gone in early and mid-March respectively. It will take a while to fill the positions and train the new people. So I am getting a whole lot of new work to do, I'm sure.

In some scenarios this would be good, but my boss works very closely with the database and I, frankly, do not have those skills or background. Much of what she does I simply do not know how to do. And at this late point in my career, I really don't want to learn!

But I will do what I have to do. The one bright spot in this is that our new VP seems to be a very good manager and I trust him to be fair and understanding.

One of the departing bosses told me that she mentioned to him that if I was taking on more responsibility, I deserved more compensation. I am underpaid as it is. But we'll see. I'm not holding my breath on that one.

Goodwill Wednesday

February 23rd, 2012 at 02:18 pm

I didn't make it to Goodwill last Wednesday, and the week before I didn't buy anything. So I guess I was ready!

I spent $39 after my 15% discount. I am very excited by some of my finds. First of all, remember I was looking for corduroy pants? I finally gave up and decided I didn't need any. Well, last night, I found a like-new pair of Ralph Lauren cords in a nutmeg-brown shade. Perfect! And though I wasn't looking for a sweater, I happened upon a gorgeous Ralph Lauren off-white cable-knit turtleneck. I wonder if the same person brought them in?

So now I am all set to hike upon the moors, rambling through the heathers with my hounds! Oh heck, I may even wear the outfit to work!

Another great find was a new set of Legos -- Star Wars edition. It is actually an advent set for 2011, so before I gift it, I will take the Legos out of the box and repackage. My grandson will LOFF this! (His word for love).

Two gifts for my two daughters-in-law: a Fiesta bowl (white) for one, and a planter (rusty orange with a maple leaf pattern) for the other.

And I found six mini-plates for the booth. A set of three Copenhagen plates, one from Venice, and two Bavarian. And two Delft tiles.

For myself, another English bone china mug. Which I now officially collect, because this is the third one!

In other news, my son called and asked me for good dates in June for a camping weekend. We will rent a cabin somewhere in Indiana and have a long weekend together. My DIL's mother will come, too. I always love having something to look forward to!

Going down the tubes?

February 21st, 2012 at 07:34 pm

Just came back from a very contentious meeting about the College's fiscal state. The faculty is fighting the President's proposed solution, which is to beef up graduate and online programs. While I don't know if that is the ideal solution, I am certainly concerned that doing nothing at all will result in the ultimate failure of the College. I don't have too many years left here, so I am not really personally concerned, but it's an institution with a long and esteemed history. C'mon people!

As for my personal finances, not much is going on. I won $17 in a football pool (that was on Superbowl Sunday, but I just got the check). I finally sent back my Comcast box, and it was, as they promised, free shipping. I put only $415 on the Citi card last month, which means I have to put $800 on it for each of the next two months. I really have to plot out how I'm going to do that. Funny how things have reversed from how can I save to how can I spend? The point being, of course, that I don't want to spend unnecessarily just to get my $250 reward.

So my ideas are:

Body work on the car
Get the carpet shampooed
Buy a heavy winter coat
Gift cards for groceries, etc.
Get some jewelry repaired

Weird, isn't it? I don't like spending any more!

A Downton Abbey Day

February 20th, 2012 at 01:48 am

Knowing the final episode of the season was airing tonight, I tried to catch up on all the episodes online today. But I ran out of time. The final episode is showing now, but I still haven't seen episode 6. So I will wait and catch it and episode 7 on the computer as well.

Still, it's been a delightful day, living in Downton Abbey!

We finally got my son's birthday dinner under our belts! It all went well. The only mishap was the cake. I had frozen the layers, but when I unwrapped them, some of the cake peeled off with the foil. I couldn't hide the damage, but it still tasted good. Everything else was a hit. He loved his presents -- especially the jacket, which fit well and which he said would be just right to wear in the helicopter. After lunch he, his wife and I took a nice walk with his dog in the almost springlike weather -- it was just a good day all round.

On Friday night I did my $20 grocery shopping. This time I only counted food in the $20 and I spent $19.32. I spent a little more for birthday candles and cat food, so the total bill was $26. The $19 bought a gallon a milk, a jug of Simply Orange, a pint of sour cream, 8 ounces of cream cheese, a half-gallon of ice cream, a package of frozen spinach and two packages of sliced cheese (one Swiss, one cheddar). Everything was on sale except for the spinach. Sure was a lot of dairy, wasn't it? Most of the items were needed for the birthday meal, which was, in its final incarnation: London Broil, sour cream smashed potatoes, mushroom-Swiss crescent rolls, creamed spinach, and banana cake with vanilla filling and orange-caramel glaze. And a nice cabernet sauvignon.

On Friday I had an out-of-town all-day meeting for a professional organization I belong to. I volunteered for a committee, and was surprised to learn that I am expected to go to board meetings once a month. And they are held downtown. I guess I thought I would do my committee work by phone and email! Well, I will make the best of it, but that will be an expense I wasn't counting on. The College won't pay the expenses, not with their budget problems.

On the bright side, for this particular meeting I got a free lunch, but on the other hand, had to pay $5 for parking. This meeting was NOT downtown but in a small town about an hour away. Parking in the city will be much higher.

I've been fighting a sore throat all weekend. It just won't go away. Usually a sore throat means a cold is coming on, but so far, no other symptoms. I do hope I don't have strep, or something ugly like that!

Today I made chicken soup, which sure tasted good on my throat. Since this is a low carb day, it is just broth, chicken and onion. Tomorrow I will add noodles. I also made some granola, which is drying out now. I'm looking forward to having some for breakfast. My $20 challenge is forcing me to do a lot more cooking from scratch, but I am enjoying the process. I am feeling quite accomplished, actually!

A nice jump in savings

February 16th, 2012 at 02:56 am

Just put $800 in my savings account. Woo-hoo! My tax refund, plus a little extra.

I had to stay home from work yesterday because of ... well, to put it politely, gastrointestinal issues. I went to work today but my stomach is not feeling too great right now. Hope I'm not having a relapse.

I had to reschedule my son's birthday dinner --- again --- because I started getting sick Monday night. Now he's coming on Saturday. Of course, all the food was ready to cook. I froze what I could, cooked what I had to -- but because I felt so bad I let the carrots burn and may have ruined the pan as well! I will have to make some adjustments to the menu. What a trial this is turning into! I'm glad there isn't another birthday until June!

The last few days

February 13th, 2012 at 12:27 am

Friday was a low-carb day, and while I had supper covered (chicken in the crockpot), I didn't have much on hand for lunch. So I went to the cafeteria and spent $5 on a portobello sandwich with a side of Brussel sprouts and a small salad. I removed the bun and saved it for the next day.

In the evening I did my grocery shopping, this time shopping for my son's birthday dinner, so I couldn't make it under $20. I spent $33. The flank steak was surprisingly expensive and there were only two packages -- barely enough, but I think it will do. I also bought a bag of red potatoes, fresh mushrooms, milk, sour cream, eggs, a nice wine (almost $10!) -- AND -- a box of Kraft mac & cheese, because I promised to babysit the grandkids on Saturday, and I've learned it's always good to have a box on hand.

The birthday dinner menu is now London Broil, mapled carrots, smashed potatoes, and sauteed mushrooms, with cabernet sauvignon and some kind of bread which is yet to be purchased. Pretty much the same, but I didn't get the Brussel sprouts because they looked sickly, and they were pricey! I think the mushrooms will be a nicer touch anyway.

I was planning to buy a chocolate cake from Portillo's, but since I had all day today to prepare -- and bananas to use up -- I made a banana cake from scratch. Tomorrow I will assemble the two layers with a vanilla pudding filling and orange caramel glaze on top. Now I just need to stop at the store tomorrow and buy some good bread, some orange juice for the glaze, and some birthday candles!

As I said, Saturday was devoted to baby-sitting. I went up to Evanston to watch my grandson's basketball game (with five-year-olds you can hardly call it a basketball game!) Then I packed up the boys and headed home. We ate at McDonald's so they could explore the PlayPlace. Spent about $12 there. Then we went home and watched Netflix shows, worked puzzles, read storybooks and played Yahtzee. In the evening the parents came bearing Smashburgers and relieved a very tired Grandma! (And I never did use that mac & cheese!)

The two-year-old proved to be a real boy when he insisted on manning the remote. I said very firmly, "No, I HAVE to do this," and he replied just as firmly, "NO, I HAVE to do this!" With all the authority in the world. So cute.

Today I just stayed in all day. Besides making the cake, I got all the food prepped for tomorrow, ironed some pants, FINALLY sewed that button on my sweater, but most of the day I spent on the couch, reading. I'd love another day just like it, but tomorrow it's back to work!

The birthday dinner

February 10th, 2012 at 01:17 am

I didn't think I was nervous about fixing dinner for my son and his wife, but I had an awful dream last night in which I was cooking and everything went wrong. Like, I was serving the food on the table because there weren't any plates. Then today, my son called and said he was scheduled to work on Friday, and I felt relieved! Not because I don't want to do it, but because he rescheduled for Monday, and I'll have the weekend to get ready. I think I was stressing about doing it at the end of a long work week.

I got money from half.com today. $3.30 of it is profit. I did a Pinecone survey today, so that will be another $3. I let one slide by last week, not getting to it in time. I hate to do that, I find the Pinecone surveys by far the most reliable income.

I got my electric bill today, but it isn't showing any change despite my efforts to use less. I think next month will show more difference. I am using the dryer WAY less!

I had a really good meeting at work with my new boss. I think he is going to make a positive difference. And I did some cleaning up and organizing in my office which also made me feel a lot better. I have been so stressed I haven't been taking the time to file and the stacks of paper were getting me down.

I went to Goodwill yesterday for Senior Citizens Day, but I didn't get anything. I did pick up a teapot to put the the booth and carried it around for a while, but in the end I wasn't excited enough about it to buy it. It wasn't priced that low.

I guess that's about it for today!

Warning! Warning!

February 7th, 2012 at 09:06 pm

I got an email from my bank this morning telling me that my checking account balance was under $25. It scared me a bit, thinking I made a mistake and that I would soon be overdrawn. But no, I am just under $25. I guess I have never been that low before in my checking account; I don't recall ever getting a notice before.

I transferred $20 into the account just in case, but in another week it will go back into savings.

I bought a tablecloth last night, along with eight matching napkins. They were all 50% off; even so, still expensive for someone who never shops retail! I decided to get two packages of napkins for fear I would regret not having enough in the future. The set is yellow, which will look good with my Blue Willow dishes.

At the same time I found a stainless steel helicopter sculpture which was also 50% off. My son is training to be a helicopter pilot, so I thought it would make a good Christmas gift. The cashier did not give me 50% off at the register, so a manager had to fix it. I'm glad I was awake enough to catch the error. The whole bill was about $75. The helicopter alone was $35, even half-price.

Ironic, since I'm doing the fancy dinner in order to SAVE money. But the tablecloth & napkins will serve me for a long time. I didn't have a table cover at all -- somehow in all my moves I just ended up without any. And I do like to set a pretty table.

Taxes done -- halfway

February 6th, 2012 at 05:07 pm

Got my federal taxes done yesterday -- they are quite simple these days. My refund will be $773. It looks like I will have to pay state tax -- under $100, so I will put off doing that for a while. I'll do the state tax on paper; for the federal I used the free part of TurboTax.

Had a free breakfast this morning -- two birthday girls at work brought in bagels, rolls, cookies and brownies. All the carbs you could possibly desire. Since this is not a low-carb day, I indulged.

Today is also my baby boy's birthday! He is 34! He is vacationing in San Francisco, so I texted him a happy birthday message.

I realized while planning his birthday dinner (this Friday) that I no longer have a tablecloth. I think I will get one, since I would like the dinner to be somewhat elegant -- or maybe some nice place mats. Since I will be doing birthday meals for three more people this year -- or five, if I include the grandchildren -- I think it might be a good thing to invest in some table dressing. I guess I will check out Kohl's on my way home.

I woke up this morning with a powerful headache, but after taking 3 Advil it is gone. Still, I am not feeling at the top of my game. Maybe there are some Monday blues involved, too. Smile

Couldn't get on!

February 5th, 2012 at 04:04 pm

I hate it when I can't connect! What if all you guys are out there doing fascinating things!

Oh well, I'll put this in Word and plop it in later.

Yesterday I went to Joann's Fabric to find the right button for my sweater. I DID, by the way, find my own button collection, but there was nothing in it that would really do. Well, even at Joann's I did not find the perfect match, but I found one that will blend in well and fool the eye. Of course, I had to buy two, and they were $4.50. More than I paid for the sweater, I think! But it's a really pretty sweater and once I get it operational again I'll be glad. Sewing on that button is one of my planned chores today.

Joann's Fabric was in a shopping center that was new to me. It had a discount grocery store called Ultra, which I've heard of but have never tried. So I decided to spend my $20 there. It was a big warehouse-type store with lots of stock and the prices seemed pretty good. For my $20 (actually $18.81) I got a 24-pack of maxi pads, a jar of house-brand peanut butter, a can of Chicken of the Sea tuna, 1 2/3 pound of bananas, a package of shredded cheddar and 11 jumbo chicken drumsticks. I mean, they look like turkey legs! Also 20 pounds of cat litter. I froze the chicken legs in packages of 2 and 3; they will be my mainstay on my low-carb days.

Will I go back there? Doubtful. It's a bit of a drive, and I think I do just as well at Jewel, choosing loss leaders and house brands. It was also pretty intense very busy and crowded and the shoppers were rather rude stressed, I guess.

From there I headed to the gas station, but before I got there I swung by Taco Bell. I realized it was after noon and I was really hungry, and since Taco Bell is a little out of the way for me, I don't get it too often. I bought 3 tacos - $3.57.

Gas was $26.47 ($3.47 per gallon). I also went to the library, but with hot food in the car, I just returned some items and didn't look for anything new.

Came home and read on the couch for a while, putting off doing my taxes. (Still putting it off I'm going to do them today!) I made a yummy supper the entree was the last of my split pea soup, but the sides were great! I drained the last bit of applesauce out of the jar and added the last bit of cranberry sauce and heated them up on the stovetop. So good! And I sliced and boiled some carrots, and added honey and butter.

Next Friday I'm going to make dinner for my son and his wife in honor of his birthday. He has asked for London Broil. With that, I'm going to serve sour cream mashed potatoes, roasted Brussel sprouts with pecans, maple-glazed carrots and some kind of artisan bread. And I'll buy a chocolate cake from Portillo's. I should get some wine, too. So, obviously, this is not going to come out of my $20 challenge. The whole idea of this is cheaper than a restaurant meal! I'll shop later in the week.

My pantry and freezer are really starting to clear out. I have a TGIF pasta-meal-in-a-bag in the freezer, as well as two pie crusts, some frozen white sauce, waffles, bread, tortillas and the chicken I just put in there. In the pantry, I have maybe four cans of soup, a couple cans of vegetables, tuna, peanut butter, spaghetti, egg noodles, lasagna, rice, onions, salsa, mayonnaise, walnuts, oil, broth and baking supplies. And lots of tea and coffee, and some hot-chocolate packets. In the fridge there are eggs, cheese, carrots, celery, butter, crescent rolls, and all kinds of condiments. So I still have what I need, but I'm starting to see that I will soon need to spend the whole $20 on food and make the non-food items a separate trip.

Oh, and I didn't report yet that on Friday night I went to McDonald's to get the free chicken bites sample. It was so small that I bought a regular-size portion, too. ($3.81) They were quite good, but I'm sure not very low-carb, as they were heavily breaded.

It's a low carb day

February 3rd, 2012 at 01:41 pm

And it's the day before grocery shopping. I brought to work everything I have that's low carb -- a slice of ham (already ate that), some chicken fajita filling, celery & dip, walnuts and chicken broth. I was so tempted to drive through the McDonald's window and get a big breakfast for the sausage and egg, but I resisted. Tonight I plan to have scrambled eggs. And I will also try to snag a free sample of chicken bites from McDonald's on the way home, though I suspect there will be a long line.

Tomorrow a big chunk of my $20 will have to go to kitty litter and pantiliners (no, I can't do without them!) I also MUST get some meat for my low-carb days -- there is a BOGO on chicken breasts, so that's probably what I'll get. And I'm out of peanut butter. There is a special that interested me -- if you buy 2 DiGiorno pizzas (which I love) you get a free half-gallon of ice cream. (And of course I love that, too!) But I don't need them, and I think I'll have to pass in order to get the things I need.

I had a revelation yesterday. I ran out of the little snack plastic bags and started to put them on my list. Then I thought -- Whaaa? Why don't I just use the sandwich size? Which I already have. How streamlined do I have to get about packing my lunch? In the space where the snack bags used to go I put a few folded-up bread bags, which I will also use for packing lunches.

There was a reception at work yesterday with especially nice treats -- meatballs, bruschetta, nuts, cheese, fruit, cookies -- even wine. I tried to control myself, really I did! Nicely enabled a light dinner of soup!

Big goals this weekend -- get my taxes done, and clear my dining room table!

Goodwill shopping

February 2nd, 2012 at 05:15 pm

I went to Goodwill last night for my regular senior citizen discount shopping. I bought only 3 things, but they were good.

I found a cashmere scarf from J. Crew, tag still on, in my DIL's favorite color -- orange!

A brand-new package of Madagascar penguins.

A like-new book that I had already recommended to my son.

The first two will go in the Christmas stash; the book I will just give to my son.

The total cost was $4. Woo-hoo!

My Comcast payment was taken out -- it is $42, a nice savings over $85.

My subscription to Ancestry.com is up for renewal. I haven't used it much lately, but I've been meaning to. I still have a lot of work to do on the family tree. Meanwhile, I DO use it at work, so I will renew. It will be another thing I can put on my new Citi card.

I'm really enjoying my new seat belt. What a nice feeling -- to just snap it together and go!

January recap

February 1st, 2012 at 01:44 pm

Rent - 1132

Insurance - 440 (for six months, auto & renter's)

Gifts - 299 (includes $270 payment for Christmas gift)

Utilities - 212 (includes phone)

Business - 98 (booth rental & items from Goodwill)

Medical/Health - 91 (dentist & vitamins)

Vacation/Travel - 72 (weekend trip to Indiana)

Clothing - 70 (1 pair pants, alterations & dry cleaning)

Gas - 65

Groceries - 49 !!!

Household Supplies - 38 (printer cartridge)

Car Repair/Maintenance - 31 (seat belt buckle & car wash)

Eating Out - 20

Personal - 15 (haircut)

Vet/Pet Supplies - 15

Miscellaneous - 7

Furnishings/Equipment - 2

Total - 2656

Nowhere close to my goal of $2000, but if you subtract the big insurance payment, it's not too bad.

How about those groceries, huh!

I've started tracking extra income, but that spreadsheet is on my laptop. It's small -- I remember I got a $3 payment from Pinecone, and something else -- can't remember.

I did finally get my seat belt fixed last night and they charged me only $25. That's a $100 discount! It's nice that when they mess up, they make it good somehow.

- Just realized I left out Entertainment, which I believe was around $30 (that, too, is on my laptop!)