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Four Days Till Pay Day

August 18th, 2018 at 04:49 am

So I've got four days till pay day. I want to spend as little as possible during that time.

I'm planning to make roll-ups of crescent rolls and taco meat and cheese today. I still have plenty of frozen chicken, a can of tuna, and the makings for sausage biscuits. I also hope to have the time to make bread today.

I made granola yesterday.

I'm going to go back to the gym after a too-long break. Traveling, getting sick, and grandma duty has taken its toll on my regular schedule. The gym is several miles away, and when I get in the car I will probably see that I will have to put gas in it if I want to get around safely.

I also need to go to the library, which is in the opposite direction.

I'm making a list of things I need to get after pay day: cat food, kitty litter, aquarium filters, haircut, and a run to Aldi to stock up. Birthday presents for my grandson and granddaughter. A jelly thermometer.

I forgot to mention that during my travels I found .55. And I was able to do laundry for free during that time.

My son and DIL need my storage space -- they have to clear out C's storage area for the new tenant. I am fine with it, since I've been clearing out anyway for the garage sale. And this way, I will for sure get my son's help for bringing up the boxes, which I have to go through anyway.

Home to Stay

August 17th, 2018 at 09:15 am

I just got back from Indiana. The funeral was lovely, and it was very nice to get to know BFF's family better.

There was a dinner in the church after the funeral, so my only spending was $9 for meals on the road. I did not have to fill the tank again. (Though I will soon.)

I have the weekend to rest before I start taking care of the boys again next week. School starts the following Monday.

Variables are at 73%. I hope the next few days are low-spend. I should get groceries, but I'm going to try to be creative instead.

Back Home -- Briefly

August 15th, 2018 at 01:21 pm

I drove home from Michigan this morning, but tomorrow it's back on the road again to go to the funeral in Indiana.

My stay at my brother's house was lots of fun. Aside from the swimming and boating which we usually do, we also went blueberry picking. I picked 2 1/2 lbs. for $5. My kids took advantage of the dune buggy rides. My brother cooked us great meals, and we also went out to eat for one lunch. I also got to meet my friend P for lunch.

My vacation spending:

$28 for gas
$38 for pizza (treated one night)
$14 for restaurant meal
$7 for road food
$5 for blueberries
$18 for groceries

It was pretty cheap. My brother very sweetly did not want me to pay for the pizza, but I felt he had done enough cooking and needed a break!

I came home to an unhappy cat in a warm condo, but it was not terrible. I had left the windows cracked and the fans running.

While I was gone, I was awarded by ComEd $3.60 for keeping my consumption low on a peak savings day.

I also got a mystery shop payment for $39.

I ran out of reading material, and bought a book at Barnes & Noble, but I had gift cards to cover it.

Variables are 70%. And I still have another trip to go. But I may have enough gas to cover it, and I shouldn't have to eat out -- unless the family chooses to eat out after the funeral is over, which is a possibility. I'm not family, but I am invited.

Only one week till pay day.

And only a week and a half till school starts! I'll be glad to go back to a fall schedule, much as I love spending time with the boys.

Getting Ready

August 11th, 2018 at 04:39 am

Well, another no-spend day yesterday, and now it's the day to head north to Michigan. I'm going to try to get out of here by noon or so.

I slept poorly last night, as I often do before traveling. Think I might have gotten five hours.

My grandson and I packed my trunk with garage sale boxes yesterday. I won't have the time or the help to load up the car after I come back from Michigan, and I can't take a trip to Indiana without taking a load.

The storage unit contains at least 10 more boxes to go through. Whew!

I'll be leaving my cat for four days this time. I hate to do it, but with both my grandsons coming up to Michigan, I won't have anyone to check on him. I'll just leave lots of food and water. I'll have to check on the weather forecast to see what to do about windows/cooling etc.

I'm going to take my laundry, as it's so much easier to do it there than at home.

On the way I'll be buying bread-and-butter gifts. I plan to get a couple of loaves of their favorite bakery bread and maybe a carton of Seagram's Escapes.

Free Day Revoked

August 10th, 2018 at 04:37 am

I thought today would be a free day, but DIL has to work (because of being on vacation next week) so I have to be a grandma!

Yesterday I took GS2 to the pool. He has a pass, but I have to pay for a guest pass, which is $8. And he bought a $4 ice cream treat.

I also spent $4 on fish feeder blocks to use while I'm on vacation.

Variables are up to 50%.

Our jam-making experiment went well, I think. I haven't tasted the result, but all the jars sealed. I sent one home with GS2.

I have a question for the jam-makers here. What is the best way to skim the foam? I feel like I took too much of the jam away, while still leaving too much of the foam. I used a big shallow spoon.

It certainly was a messy job, generating lots of dishes and stickiness everywhere.

Today I have to fill the car trunk with garage sale boxes, even though I'm going to Michigan first. When I come back on Wednesday, I won't have any help. Today I'll have GS2's help. Maybe on Wednesday I can fill the back seats myself. We'll see. If only I had an elevator!

Plans & Preps

August 9th, 2018 at 06:09 am

My BFF's mom passed away yesterday morning. The funeral is planned for the 16th. I will be able to make it, but I will have to leave Michigan Wednesday morning, sleep at home, and then take off early Thursday to go the funeral. BFF says I can stay overnight at her place, as most family will be staying in hotels. But if I'm still standing, I'll drive home. It will be a long day. I live about 3 hours from both my Michigan and Indiana locations, but, of course, in opposite directions.

I ran a few more errands yesterday, getting gas ($28), bulk-size food storage bags ($16) and bread ($2). I also went to the library and got a new book to read, as well as an audiobook to listen to on the road.

I promised GS2 we would make blueberry jam today. I haven't tried to make jam for a long time -- hope it goes well.

I'll have a free day tomorrow before I head to Michigan.

The decluttering/garage sale project is going well. I have started on the last area, the basement storage area. The first box yielded mostly things for cheap sale, but one vintage item I will put on eBay. I have a growing collection of things to sell on eBay. When I finish the decluttering, I will list them, and whatever doesn't sell will go into the garage sale.

I will be glad when I can reclaim my dining room!

Late Mystery Shop

August 8th, 2018 at 06:16 am

Last night I did a mystery shop at 9:30 pm. I didn't get home till 10:15 or so (took the wrong route home) and then I had to complete the survey. So I didn't get to bed till 11, which is late for me. Of course my cat woke me up at the usual time, so I'm feeling pretty sleepy. But I can't nap; I have grandma duty today.

I did another load of laundry yesterday for $1.50.

I bought groceries for $7, using a $5 gift card from Target.

Variables are 39%.

I used my Panera gift card to buy a couple of bagels, which my grandson and I had for lunch with the rest of the sandwich spread I'd made the day before. No cost.

We had heavy rain and flash foods in the early evening which made me wonder if I should even attempt the mystery shop, but it cleared up before it was time to go.

I'll be spending more than a weekend at my brother's; he graciously invited us for the rest of the week after learning that my kids had taken vacation time at work. Don't know how I missed that conversation, but I guess I did! So I'll be contributing to the cost of feeding us next week. I'll need to get more feeder blocks for the fish and poor Iggy will have to spend some more time alone (he hates it!) And I will need to fill the tank again today.

I'll be glad when the summer draws to a close -- it will be more restful.

BFF's mother continues to hang in there. I hope she finds peace soon.

Yesterday's Spending

August 7th, 2018 at 04:56 am

Spent $1.50 on laundry yesterday after Iggy threw up on his quilt. I threw in the towels to make it a full load.

Otherwise, it was a no-spend day. I took GS2 to a local frozen yogurt shop because I had a coupon for a free serving. I didn't get any yogurt for myself.

I made sandwich filling from cream cheese, walnuts and olives, and GS2 loved it! That was a surprise -- I thought it would be too savory for him. I also added some Trader Joe's Everything seasoning.

I have a mystery shop tonight. I accepted it over the phone and didn't understand that I was assigned to be there just before the restaurant closed. It closes at 10 pm and it's about a half-hour away. I don't have much interest in eating at that time of night. I wouldn't have accepted it had I understood, but I thought he was saying I just had to be there any time before closing. This is an annoyance, but I'll do it.

There's been a misunderstanding about the Michigan trip coming up. I thought son & DIL would be working on Monday and so told my brother we would all leave on Sunday. Turns out son & DIL will be on vacation the following week and they were planning on staying longer. I honestly don't remember any discussion about a longer stay, but I admit I am getting more spacey, especially when I am feeling overwhelmed, as I have been lately. So I have a call in to my brother, which he is not returning, and I'm feeling like everyone is mad at me.

I found a double entry in my checking register -- I added my TIAA payment twice. I wondered why the balance was so high. I corrected that, and I'm still in the black. Then I made some corrections in my variables spreadsheet, and it is higher than I thought -- 36%.

As I said -- spacey!

Variables

August 6th, 2018 at 04:56 am

When I checked in last night, I forgot to report that variables are now at 32%, with 16 days to go. I am supposed to go back to Michigan this weekend, which means more gas. And I will be going back to Indiana soon for a funeral. (Not sure if I will be able to do both.) Other than that, I don't think there are any unusual expenses to worry about.

I left my AC on while I was gone this past weekend, because it was so very hot, and I didn't want my cat to suffer. The AC is still on, though summer storms are expected today and may give us some respite. So I'm sure I can expect an unusually high electric bill.

I'm still doing fine on food, as long as I'm not picky about what I eat!

Exhausted

August 5th, 2018 at 02:45 pm

I got back from my trip to Indiana about an hour ago. BFF's mom is "actively passing," as they put it in the health center, but she may hang on for a week or even two. The first time I went to see her, she was very uncomfortable and struggling in her bed. They have since shortened the interval between morphine doses and she is now much more peaceful. But she does not connect with anyone, she is in her own zone.

BFF is all over the place emotionally, which is not surprising.

When we weren't at the health center, we were cleaning and straightening the house in anticipation of overnight guests. We did go out for dinner last night, which she covered.

Her brother will arrive today and I hope he can help her through some of her mood swings and anxieties.

I will go back for the funeral, when it comes. I think she will have ample help from family until then.

It was a pretty low-spend trip. I had enough gas in the car to get there and back. I spent $14 on road food.

I'm exhausted!

Oh yes -- another expense. My tollway pass refreshed -- $40.

Spending Again

August 3rd, 2018 at 05:28 am

Went to Sam's yesterday. Filled the tank for $27 and then bought garbage bags and creamer for $25. Big containers, obviously. I decided to buy the creamer at Sam's because I seem to go through it so fast, I might as well go bulk. I also bought a $5 rotisserie chicken for my son's family. They are on a no-carb diet.

I took my grandson to IHOP for lunch, and spent $12.

So it was kind of a spendy day. Variables are up to 23%.

Today I'm heading south to be with BFF as she wrestles with the news that her mother is now in hospice. I guess I will pack a funeral outfit just in case. BFF seems to think that death is imminent. My experience is that hospice can drag out, but I guess it is better to be prepared than not.

My grandson helped me carry boxes of garage sale stuff down to the car yesterday. The trunk is almost full. The garage sale is going to be the last thing on BFF's mind, but I cannot pass up this opportunity to transport some boxes. It will take several trips to get it there, and the sale will happen eventually.

Back to Normal

August 2nd, 2018 at 06:42 am

Thank you for your get well messages!

I am better today, feeling ready to tackle grandma duty again. GS2 is coming over in about a half hour. I vacuumed the house (because he sits on the floor a lot) and now I am bushed!

My BFF's mother has just gone into hospice care. She has been in a facility a pretty long time with dementia, and she no longer recognizes her family. Her oxygen levels have diminished and she doesn't want to eat, so her team decided it was time.

BFF is thrown for a loop, even though she has been expecting this for a long time. Expecting and experiencing are two different things. I offered to go down and stay with her this weekend, but first I have to see how well I get through this day.

I did another $1.50 load of laundry yesterday -- had to, to wash a "sick" towel, so I just washed everything I could find to make a full load. I shouldn't have to do laundry again for a while.

I don't know if it was the way I was feeling, but I seem to have been in an apocalyptic mood for entertainment lately. In the last few days, I watched "The Road," "How it Ends" and five episodes of "The Rain." I guess when I'm feeling bad, it makes me feel better to see problems that are so much worse!

Better...

August 1st, 2018 at 06:00 am

It was a bad day yesterday, and I didn't sleep much last night, but this morning I woke up feeling better. I still have a stomachache but I am much improved. I did have to bow out of child care today.

I did two loads of laundry yesterday, just trying to keep up with the mess my illness was making. $3.

I found a big error in my variables table -- I neglected to remove the income I am no longer getting from the College. Duh! Kind of what Gap Year is all about. So last month, my first month of Gap Year, I actually came in at 99%. Well, at least I was still under. This month's, so far, is 13%.

I took a shower this morning, and when I get some energy back, I'll put fresh sheets on the bed. This will make such a big difference in how I feel.

I ate only crackers yesterday (which I didn't manage to keep down.) Today I had a piece of unbuttered toast. Here's hoping. This should help out my food budget, anyway.

Yesterday evening there was a concert in the park behind my building. Two different bands played music from the 60's. My window was open and I enjoyed a free concert while lying in my bed. Would have been fun to be there, if I were not feeling so bad. But I'm hopeful that I'll be almost back to normal tomorrow.

Too Sick to Spend

July 31st, 2018 at 06:17 am

I felt tired yesterday and became quite sick in the night. Today I'm not really better, just spent.

I didn't spend anything yesterday and I won't today.

I really need to do laundry but I can't manage those steps until I feel a lot better.

Thank goodness, DIL is not working today and I don't have to watch GS2.

Hoping when I check in again I'll be much improved.

Monday Morning

July 30th, 2018 at 04:42 am

Did my mystery shop last night, spending .78 over the amount I will be reimbursed. But I'll also get an $8 payment. Not till next month, of course. I brought home a bag of leftover fries, which I will turn into home fries.

Afterwards I went to son's house and played a new board game with him and GS2, who is already lonely for his brother.

I need to get a few groceries today. I may have time to do that after the gym. But I have to be on Grandma duty at 9:30.

Variables are at 9%.

Free Food All Day Long!

July 29th, 2018 at 08:54 am

I helped send GS1 off to camp this morning, and afterwards we all went out for breakfast. GS's grandpa and uncle picked up the tab -- so nice! This evening I have a mystery shop to do at a hamburger place. I don't think I'll need to eat anything else all day.

My contract with Spark Energy ended and I chose not to renew. I'm going back to ComEd as the supplier. I thought I would have a hard time cancelling, as SE was very aggressive in signing me up in the first place. But I was able to do it via email, and I just got the confirmation from ComEd. Don't believe they ever saved me any money, and I never did like the way they hooked me in the first place. (Salesperson made it sound like they represented ComEd. It was all very shady.)

I have a day of rest ahead of me before I go back on Grandma duty tomorrow. It will be just one boy for the next two weeks. Not sure if it will actually be any easier, as they entertain each other!

Weather is finally beautiful -- clear, cool and sunny. No AC needed. I think I'll take a nap!

Back in Town

July 28th, 2018 at 12:26 pm

I got back from my Michigan vacation today. I'm very tired, because it's not much of a vacation when you're running after two little boys. That said, they were really pretty good at entertaining themselves. But with a pool and a lake in the back yard, I had to be vigilant.

I spent only $56. $27 of that was for gas and the rest for food on the road. We hit a few garage sales on Friday morning and I spent $2 on things the boys wanted as well as a Christmas gift. We also went to my SIL's antique shop and I spent $10 there on a gift for DIL.

I caught up on my bill paying, as pay day came the day I left. Everything looks to be in order.

Variables for this new month are now at 8%.

Now I'm going to get some serious rest! Really, I had a lovely time. The weather was perfect, if a little cool, and my brother served up some fabulous meals. I am truly lucky to have a brother who is a chef -- and a good one at that!

July Recap

July 24th, 2018 at 04:09 pm

It was a low-spend month overall, but mainly because no assessment fee hit during this month. (It hit twice last month.)

Housing: $321
Utilities: $171
Property Taxes: $168
Groceries: $110
Eating Out: $99
Fees/Services: $60
Vet/Pet Supplies: $59
Gas: $57
Phone: $52
Medical/Health: $36
Household Supplies: $29
Entertainment: $25
Laundry: $19
Furnishings/Equipment/Decor: $18
Car Repair/Maintenance: $17
Gifts/Charity: $5
Fares/Parking: $1

Grand Total: $1265

This has been my first whole month of Gap Year. I hope they all go this well. I spent 68% of my variables budget.

I have an extra $79 to put into the coming month's variables budget -- a combination of mystery shopping, surveys, cashback rewards, and money found on the street.

I was able to add $333 to the mortgage fund.

Next month will probably be more of a challenge. I'm driving to Michigan tomorrow with the boys, and I plan to go again later in the month with my son and DIL as well. That will be to celebrate my birthday.

I looked at the HelloFresh wine club site, and found that the $45 off is being offered to everyone. It does appear I could cancel at any time, but the wine prices are pretty high, so it's probably not worth the trouble of ordering and cancelling.

I took another alley walk today and found four more boxes. One contained some toddler girl's clothing in pretty good condition, so I'll add that to the sale, after washing it.

Since I cannot arrive at my brother's too early tomorrow, the boys and I are going to the children's movie at 10 a.m. (Paddington 2) and then we'll hit the road. Maybe stop at Culver's on the way. I'm not actually packed yet, but I have everything set out, ready to stick in the bag. I can't pack the bag till the last minute because it upsets Iggy so much!

Eat Out Day

July 24th, 2018 at 05:53 am

Yesterday the boys asked if it could be Eat Out Day, since they were going to Six Flags on Tuesday and will be in Michigan the rest of the week. I caved. I guess I'm glad they enjoy Eat Out Day so much. (But this is hardly going to be a week of deprivation for them!)

We settled on Outback Steakhouse, since they were offering free bloomin' onions yesterday. But it turned out awfully expensive, anyway. The boys ordered ribs from the kids' menu, and they each ordered a drink. GS1 got root beer, which came in a bottle. He asked for a refill, and we got another bottle -- another charge, of course. I only ordered a cup of soup and water. The free stuff was two small loaves of bread and the onion. The total bill, with tip, was $37.

After lunch, we were almost home when we got a text from my son that GS1 had left his violin at music lessons. We went back to get it, but when we arrived at the music teacher's home, she wasn't answering the door. By that time, we were all needing to go to the bathroom (and we were 30 minutes away from home) so we went seeking a public restroom. We ended up using one at a gas station, and I spent $5 there on ice cream treats. (Around here, you don't use a public restroom unless you're a paying customer!) In fact, the person on duty was in a tirade because someone had tied up the bathroom for 25 minutes without buying anything.

We did finally get the violin. It took a while because I didn't have the music teacher's phone number, so I couldn't text her directly. But that's been remedied now.

I brought home enough food for a lunch or two. Enough meat to make a sandwich, and most of the onion, which I have frozen, but I'll use later in potato scramble. Oh, and GS1 didn't touch his side of fruit, so I'm going to have that for breakfast.

I got my reimbursement from the warranty company yesterday, and I've deposited it into the mortgage fund, since I don't need it in checking. I'm going to try to put all extras into the mortgage fund, as there isn't enough there yet to pay the mortgage through the year.

This is the day before pay day. I'll probably do a monthly recap later in the day, since I'll be leaving early in the morning for Michigan.

Calm Sunday

July 23rd, 2018 at 04:50 am

It was a calm Sunday. My only outings (which I combined in one) was to go to the library and the gym.

I pulled out some old files and went through them, throwing away about 90%.

I logged $8 income from IntelliShop. There is more coming, which apparently didn't make the cutoff, but I was glad to see that income.

Iggy threw up on my bed yesterday, so I had to wash the sheets and mattress pad. I hadn't made the bed, so he didn't get the comforter or quilt.

I logged my annual payment to AAA, which goes on my credit card. $58. Variables are now 66%. Only two days to go.

Today I am babysitting from 7 to 5:30. My DIL is working at a conference in Montana, so I am on duty according to my son's work hours today. I'm leaving as soon as I finish this. I doubt that I will get through this day without spending something.

Deals

July 22nd, 2018 at 06:46 am

Yesterday I went to Jewel and got my free MyMixx items -- barbecue sauce, coconut water, and a coffee smoothie. I saw ketchup on sale, so I bought that. Total price - .90.

I also gave $1 each to two panhandlers. One was actually raising money for a team; the other was just there with his cup.

From there I went to PetSmart. I had it marked in my calendar that Top Fin supplies were 30% off. I picked up two different kinds of fish food, but when they were scanned, I got no discount. I asked the cashier about it, and she said to find the original email and come back with my receipt.

Well, I went to the car, and I quickly found the email with the offer. Took it inside and got the adjustment. Turns out, there was a Top Fin associate set up at a table inside the store with coupons. I should have used one of those coupons, but I had no idea. Unfortunate that the cashiers had no idea, either.

After all was said and done, I paid $16 for the fish food.

Sometimes you just have to fight for your money.

Today I'm going to the gym and the library. I'm also going to get back to decluttering. My poor dining room is now completely devoted to the garage sale. I'll be glad when I can move it all out.

A Day at Home

July 21st, 2018 at 05:49 am

I spent the whole day at home yesterday. I did go out for a walk in the morning, hitting the alleys once more. I found a great box from Hello Fresh. When I got home, I discovered it still contained a card offering $45 off your first order of wine, if you join the Hello Fresh wine club. I'll have to read up on it to see if I could cancel after the first order. I don't drink wine any more, but it makes good gifts.

I also found some paper plates and plastic cups still in their wraps -- just set out, not in the dumpster, so I felt okay about taking them. There was other disposable tableware, but I passed them up. They were not wrapped.

Also found three Thanksgiving place mats, which will go in the sale.

And I found .11 as well.

I did a load of laundry, and continued pulling out things for the garage sale. I had a huge stash of fabric that I know I'm never going to use, so it's going on the block. I did save the material for a quilt I was was working on and forgot about. That would be a nice activity this winter.

I've gone through the whole house now, except for the kitchen and the storage unit.

I'm beginning to wonder how I'm going to get this all to Indiana. It will take several trips, for sure.

I also did some kitchen stuff yesterday. I made some chicken fajita filling, and I pulled out some hot dog buns from the freezer to dry and turn into breadcrumbs. They were too dry to use as buns.

Mostly I read and relaxed. It was a good day.

Grocery Shopping

July 20th, 2018 at 07:14 am

I went to Food4Less and Aldi yesterday, which pushed my grocery spending above $100 for the month. I don't like to ever break $100, but it happens once in a while. At Aldi, in particular, I did some stocking up -- for instance, meat to keep in the freezer. I think this food should last for a while.

I had a bit of a scare at Aldi. I pulled up to the store and there was a huge construction fence and the store itself was stripped of any recognizable feature. I thought they were demolishing it! But no, it was a remodel, and I was able to follow a path to get in, where everything was intact.

I also went to the gym, and, of course, babysat in the afternoon. The boys take their lunches to morning sports camp, and I have been going through the remains they bring home. Yesterday one of them brought back a whole sandwich. Knowing it would be thrown out otherwise, I ate it for my dinner. A free meal!

Next week will be a change of pace. Monday will be normal, Tuesday the boys are going to Six Flags, so I'll be off, and on Wednesday I'm going to take them to the kids' movie (Paddington 2), grab lunch, and then drive to Michigan. We'll stay at my brother's until Saturday morning. This will be the first time it's been just me and boys at my brother's house, and I hope it goes well.

The trip to Michigan will begin on pay day, so all of the cost of it will go on next month's budget.

Right now, variables are at 55%. Only five days till pay day.

Found Money!

July 19th, 2018 at 06:13 am

I found a $5 bill yesterday! It was just lying in the street, folded up. I'm getting so close now to picking up $100!

I took a walk in the alleys yesterday. I found about six boxes, but nothing new to put in the garage sale.

I went to the last baseball game of the season. Our team lost pretty bad, and GS1 had a bad game, striking out twice and missing an important catch. But they all went out to Portillo's afterwards in good spirits. I drove separately, so I passed on the meal out. Not only do I not want to spend the money -- I don't want to eat that late in the day.

Today I slept kind of late, but I need to get to the gym and shop a little before I go take care of the boys.

GS2 is very sad that his cousin, who is almost the same age, has moved out of town, all the way to Oregon. We are all trying to think of ways to let them see each other. I am toying with idea of BFF and I taking the train to Portland with our grandchildren. She has a brother there. I haven't even introduced this idea to her, and it won't happen for a while, even if she likes the idea. It would be hard for me to do during Gap Year. But it is something to think about and aim for. BFF and I were planning to take another trip together, anyway. Maybe next summer?

Tuesday Doings

July 18th, 2018 at 07:41 am

My mystery shop went well, and I've entered my report. I have not received payment from this particular company for more than a month, so I'm not going to accept any more from them until they do. Unlike some of the others, there is nothing on their site showing what has been paid and what is pending, so it's a little nerve-wracking.

After the shop, I went straight to GS1's playoff game. It was a VERY LONG game. It was stalled many times because of issues with the ump and the coaches. In the end, we finally won, in an exciting comeback, but it was three and a half hours!

I found a Trader Joe's before the game and bought some snacks, spending $7. Most of them I ended up bringing home. Those snacks were my supper. I was planning on going out with the kids after the game, but since the game ran so long, I begged off. Saved me some money.

Variables are now at 51%, with only one week to go.


Another No-Spend Day

July 17th, 2018 at 06:09 am

It was another no-spend day for me, other than $1.50 for laundry, which I don't really count as spending. I took the boys to the library after their sports camp. They had eaten lunch at the camp, so there was no decision about what to do about feeding them. We were there a short while and then GS1 had to go to baseball practice.

In the evening, I went to GS2's championship game. We lost, but it was an exciting game, and GS2 got his first trophy. And I found a nickel in the bleachers!

I ordered my free OTC drugs -- $50 worth. This time I got low-dose aspirin, dairy pills, generic Zyrtec, famotide, acetominophen, and a small box of pantyliners.

This morning I took a walk around the neighborhood. I headed home by way of the alleys, where I found a nice cardboard box. I also found a plastic wastebasket, a small tire and a 12" baking pan, all in good condition. I'll put the wastebasket and tire in the garage sale, but I'll keep the baking pan. I also found a set of paper lanterns still in plastic wrap -- but they had been damaged by rain, so I left them.

These are all things that were set out by the dumpsters, not in them. I don't actually go dumpster diving!

It seems many of the millennials I live among declutter by taking things to the dumpster and do not donate to Goodwill. So wasteful! But I'm sure there are others like me who come along and snatch them up!

Today I have a mystery shop to do, which may interfere, time-wise, with GS1's away game tonight. I have to do the mystery shop, once I'm signed up, so it will get priority.

My cash back from Discover hit the bank, almost $8.

Did It!

July 16th, 2018 at 05:40 am

I cleaned that tank, I hung those pictures, and I squeezed in a visit to the gym in between the baseball games. I also managed to put aside more stuff for the garage sale. I've worked my way about halfway through my house.

My only spending yesterday was .50 for lemonade at the ball park.

It was a good day, especially for GS2, whose team won all three games and will now play in the championship game tonight.

This week the boys are going to a morning sports camp, so I don't go on duty until 1:30. With DIL coming home around 3-4, it will be a light week. (My body appreciates that!) Next week I'm taking them up to Michigan. Not nailed down yet, but probably Wednesday through Friday.

I need to do some more laundry today, but first I need to go get quarters. I think I'll take a walk to the bank before it gets too steamy and hot.

Procrastination

July 15th, 2018 at 05:33 am

There are things I don't like to do. One of them is cleaning the fish tank, which actually has to be done pretty often. I was supposed to do it yesterday, but I didn't. I was also supposed to hang some pictures, and I didn't do that either. I can only credit it to procrastination. Probably added and abetted by the heat. I didn't turn on the air yesterday, trying to be frugal.

But the good news is that it was a no-spend day, other than the $3 I spent on doing laundry.

Today I have three games to attend, so I only have freedom until noon. I will put it out here that I intend to get those two neglected chores done this morning. I am also supposed to do strength training at the gym, according to my own schedule.

I slept poorly and don't feel good, at least not yet. So this is going to be a challenge.

No-Spend Day

July 14th, 2018 at 05:53 am

Yesterday was a pretty calm day. GS1 left early to go to the batting cages with his friends, so GS1 and I played a board game. He "taught" me how to play. His instructions were hilarious. He's 8.

No spending at all. For lunch we had leftover pizza.

Today I'm off duty. I'm going to do some laundry and some general housework. I found a couple more boxes so I'm going to continue boxing up things for the garage sale.

Tomorrow there are three baseball games. It's raining this morning, so I hope that means there will be a cool-off.

I got a coupon for a free full stack at IHOP, which I will have to use by the end of the month.

Variables are at 45%, with 11 days to go.

Summer Spending

July 13th, 2018 at 04:27 am

I had a restaurant mystery shop yesterday which I did with the boys. My portion of the bill will be reimbursed, but what they ordered cost $22. Then, after the evening ball game, the team went out to Fuddrucker's. I ordered a veggie burger and water, and it was $8. I am spending more on eating out than I want to, but it just seems to be a casualty of summer, with its hectic schedule and child care demands.

DIL had a bad day yesterday. Her grieving for her mother is hitting her hard now. It so often happens that way -- the grief really hits later than you think it would. For that reason, I'm not even going to bother her about the extra expense I had yesterday. I'm sure she assumed that the mystery shopping would cover the boys' portion, too.

I'll be caring for the boys today, as she has to put in an extra day at work. I was hoping to go visit BFF this weekend, but that will be postponed. Just as well -- there is so much I need to do at home.

Yesterday's spending included getting gas - $28 (another big summer expense). I also stopped and got my free car wash.

I signed up for another comic store shop this coming week, even though the last one didn't go so well. This is a different location, though, and I should have a better idea on what to do.

Found a nickel yesterday! My found money is inching toward $100!


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