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Archive for December, 2011

2012 goals - not very firm yet but progressing

December 31st, 2011 at 07:55 pm

I've never been good at goal setting. No, that isn't true. I'm good at setting goals but the achieving of them seems to trip me up. I'm pretty sure it's because I make goals then just kind of wait for them to happen. Umm, that hasn't worked out well for me yet so I'm going to try to set up some steps to achieve the goals I have for 2012 and see if that makes a difference. ;-)

Although tomorrow is January 1st, my plans are still pretty vague - you know, I want to do things like 'save money', and 'waste less' but don't have a lot of ideas on how to succeed.

I do have a few steps in mind, though, and here they are:

Start a $1 bill challenge for 2012. Thanks to Be A Wealthy Warrior for the idea. I'm not sure it will work for me but I'm happy to give it a good try.

Continue to take snacks, meals, and drinks to work. Doing this with leftovers really helps reduce food waste and is just an all around win!

Stay with my beautiful quit! Not spending $240 or so a month on cigarettes is pretty awesome. I'm going to split the money I don't spend on cigarettes between the local charity that needs help and my vacation/cruise fund.

Make consistent use of You Need A Budget and my Dave Ramsey envelope system. I know that the two of those work beautifully to keep me on the straight and narrow path but I have to be more faithful with them.

Work hard to have two no spend days a week. I know I can do it.

So, that's all I really have in mind right now. I'll ponder all this awhile longer and will come up with a more firm plan.

As usual, suggestions and ideas are welcome!

I did it, I bought one ounce of Flowerbomb!

December 30th, 2011 at 09:14 am




It's absolutely incredible. I love it. It was $75, more than I normally spend on good smellin' stuff but as a reward for two weeks of not smoking, it's perfect! I won't reward myself like this often but wow, just wow. Smile

14 days, 119 pennies, and the new year is upon us

December 30th, 2011 at 06:55 am



Look, you can't see the bottom of the jar now! Smile

It's been 14 days since I've had a cigarette. I haven't cheated, haven't bummed one off someone, I simply haven't had the taste of a cigarette though a few nights ago I came close and could have smoked one. I was sorely tempted, too, but I got through it.

There are 119 pennies in my jar and later today $119 will be transferred from my checking to savings account. I've decided to split the money I don't spend on buying cigarettes. Half of it will go to a local charitable organization I've found that needs it and the other half will be saved to take myself on a cruise. I think it's fair to give away at least half the money I'd normally waste. Also, I've wanted some Flower Bomb perfume for well over a year now (and I can't even tell you how much I want it!) but it's way out of my price range and I think I might take some of the money I haven't blown on cigarettes and buy myself a tiny bottle of that before I start saving for a cruise. Wink

I feel great. I'm sleeping better (not remembering any dreams again), have no coughing, my mood has stabilized, and I certainly smell better! I haven't gained weight...yet. I have to really keep an eye on that. All in all, it's going beautifully.

Today I must pay my rent and water bill. The electric bill isn't due for two weeks and since I need to put my not smoking money into savings I'll pay it on the next pay day. I have to prioritize that not smoking money because if I don't, I'll blow it on something stupid!
Before I head to work today I'm going to re-work my irregular income planning sheet, too. It needs to have a few changes made to it.

Anyway, Happy New Year to me. And you!

10 days, 76 pennies, and still counting!

December 26th, 2011 at 04:00 am



10 days, 76 pennies, and counting. Yesterday held a bit of temptation as I went outside with my sisters a couple of times when they smoked. I couldn't stay out long because I was feeling a little stressed, a cigarette would have been awesome (for about 15 seconds) ,and they'd have given me one if I begged enough. I didn't cave, though. I went back inside and got busy doing something.

76 pennies are in the jar (it doesn't look like so many but trust me, it is), each one representing $1 I haven't spent on cigarettes.

Go, me. Smile

7 days, 59 pennies (dollars) and counting!

December 23rd, 2011 at 04:46 am

Today makes 1 week since I've bought or had a cigarette. Whew! I've survived the first week! However, I know from past experience that I can never let my guard down. Not a month from now, not a year from now, not ever. And that part is a little tough to deal with. Meh, it is what it is, though.

Here's my Not Smoking jar this morning. It has 59 pennies in it! It's absolutely ridiculous that I've spent $60 a week, give or take, on cigarettes for however long! Oh well, moving on is the ticket, right? Next Friday I should be able to move about $120 from checking to savings. Not bad for two weeks of not smoking!



Anyway, I was off yesterday, am off today, and close tomorrow. I haven't spent much money at all in the last three days and that's a very good thing, indeed.

Today I have to run to the dollar store for eggs and more cleaner for the walls. Other than that I shouldn't have any spending. I love these no/low spend days. Smile

It's almost over...

December 21st, 2011 at 08:59 pm

Zeus in a feather boa, it's almost christmas which means the insanity is almost over! I can't even begin to say just how happy that will make me. Work will slow down and be much less stressful. In fact, it will slow down enough that some folks will whine because they aren't getting enough hours! I might be a tiny bit whiny over that but not too much. I hope. Wink

I just know that it's time for it to be over. Past time....

I won a pair of earrings! And here they are. :)

December 21st, 2011 at 10:12 am

A blogger I read recently gave away a pair of pyramid earrings she made and I won! I got the earrings today and am very excited about them.

Here's a picture:



They look like they might be a bit heavy but they're not. She used sterling silver wires, too, so hopefully they won't bother my ears.

I tried to get a decent picture of me wearing them but meh, the picture didn't turn out too great. However, here I am with the earrings. Smile



Anyway, that's my excitement for today. I work this evening but am off tomorrow.

I received a call from the local imaging center reminding me that I have an appointment in the morning for a mammogram and bone density scan. The mammogram is 100% covered by my insurance but because I'm under 65 the scan will cost $75. I hadn't planned on that expense but I do try to make medical issues a priority and bone density is an issue with the women in my family so I'll do it. But I won't have another one done for at least 5 years, Doctor SoAndSo!

Didn't spend much today - cleaning walls and other fun stuff

December 20th, 2011 at 06:23 pm

I remembered to take my lunch and snacks to work today but forgot my breakfast so I spent $2.42 for a breakfast burrito and after I got off I bought a Trenta Iced Coffee for $3.40. That's all I've spent today. I imagine the folks at the place where I got my cigarettes are wondering if I'm sick or dead or what as they're accustomed to me stopping by every couple of days! Meh.

After I got home I cleaned some more of the walls. I'm almost finished with the bathroom and kitchen. Wow, it's amazing just how disgusting smoking makes them! I'm using hot water and some great smelling variety of Mr. Clean with Febreeze and it really makes a huge difference in how the walls look and how the entire place smells! I know from past experience that in a few weeks, with more cleaning and no smoking in here, it will smell almost as though it was never smoked in. Almost. I'll be content with that.

Next on the list is washing every fabric item in the place. I'm taking my time doing all this. No need to rush but the sooner it gets done, the better off I'll be!


Almost 4 days in and $34 not spent! Rockin' on :)

December 20th, 2011 at 04:48 am

As of right now, I've not spent somewhere around $34.00 on cigarettes. It's hard to say exactly how much I've not spent since my smoking habits varied so much day to day, hour to hour, and stress to stress, but it's certain that I've not spent anything at all on cigarettes since I bought them on Tuesday last, two packs for $9.50. Not only have I not spent any money on them, I haven't bummed a cigarette from anyone, either. So, I've not smoked at all since around 1 PM Friday.

It really doesn't seem to bother me much, the not smoking. Yes, I think of smoking now and then but I wouldn't say I often truly crave a cigarette. Part of that might be that work is keeping me so busy I just don't have much time when I'm there to think about it. But I think most of it is the use of the Nicotine patch.

I'm not getting anywhere near the nicotine I did by smoking yet I seem content with things so far. When I quit for almost a year, I used the patch for only 2 weeks then stopped and was fine. For a year. I've decided to use the patch longer this time, most likely according to the directions, which is 10 weeks and three steps.

In preparation for that, I bought a box of 14 Step 1 patches yesterday for about $20. I'll stay on Step 1 for 6 weeks then go to Step 2 and we'll see how it's going.

So far, I'm fine, though. A little edgy at times, a little snappy with folks once in awhile but not a rip roarin' B*$#@. Yet. Wink

In addition to the patches I bought yesterday I spent $36 on a prescription and that's it for the day's spending.

I work a long shift today and am taking breakfast, lunch, and snacks.

Thanks, LuckyRobin! Here's my jar :)

December 19th, 2011 at 06:48 am

LuckyRobin had a good suggestion for a visual reminder of how much money I haven't spent on cigarettes. I have a pretty glass container from Ikea (heart pound!) and right now it has one penny for each dollar I haven't spent on cigarettes.

One of my sisters has some pretty stones she's bringing me this weekend and when I get those I'll replace the pennies with stones but for now, this is awesome!



Oh yes, I realized the widget I have isn't calculating correctly so I'll just keep track mentally of the money I haven't spent on cigarettes. As of right now it's $25!!!

Here are a couple of observations on the days since quitting smoking:

I no longer feel the need to get to work 30 to 45 minutes early to make sure I have time for that last smoke or two or three or....

When I'm at work if I don't get a break, it isn't quite as big a deal as it used to be. Yes, I should still get them and I need them so I can sit down, have a snack, etc. but the need to smoke is gone so it isn't quite so important.

Very interesting....

Spent $18.40 today and still no smoking!

December 18th, 2011 at 09:26 pm

I was scheduled to work a pretty long shift today but this evening the place was very, very slow so I got to leave an hour and a half early. On the one hand, I like that because I was tired and ready to go but on the other hand those are hours I won't be paid for!

It's now been 58 hours since I've had a cigarette and I estimate I've saved a little over $17 at this point!

I mentioned in another entry that I'd love to have a visual reminder of the money I haven't spent on cigarettes and LuckyRobin made this suggestion:

"If you want a visual reminder try something like using an old mayonaise jar and for every dollar you save put in something like a marble. If you don't have marbles, something cheap like beans or unpopped popcorn kernals. You'll be able to see your daily progress as the jar fills without running to the bank for money."

I just love this idea! Isn't it great?

After work tonight I did a little shopping for a few things I really needed. I spent $18.40 but should be good for a few days. I'm pooped and headed to bed. I hope you all have a marvelous and productive Monday.

Whew! Still going strong and suggestions needed

December 18th, 2011 at 05:22 am

So I went to my friend's house last night. We had roasted chicken, broccoli, and macaroni & cheese. I usually don't eat macaroni & cheese because of the carb count but I was starved and decided to have a small amount. I bolused for it and it was delicious, even if it was just the boxed stuff. Wink

After dinner we watched the football game. My friend went to his den and smoked a cigarette but I wasn't at all tempted to follow. I was too into the game at that point and wasn't about to miss even a few seconds. It appears that the Cowboys might have broken their December 'curse' but time will tell about that, huh?

This morning I put a widget on my dashboard. It's just a little no smoking sign that shows how long it's been since I've had a cigarette and how much money I haven't spent on cigarettes. It's nice to have it there if I need a little resolve booster. I also started washing the walls. What a job that is! It really does help to get rid of the cigarette smell, though, and I have a Scentsy burner going with Hazelnut Latte in it. It smells so good and does a decent job of masking the cigarette odor.



Anyway, so far so good. I figure I've not spent somewhere between $9 and $13 on cigarettes since Friday. It's hard to know just how much I haven't spent since some days I'd smoke less than a pack and other days I'd smoke two or more. In light of that, I estimate that I've not spent $12 on cigarettes! Because I used my debit card for cigarettes and putting the money not spent on those in a jar would mean a trip to the bank to get the money out, I'm going to just keep a running tab and next Friday I'll transfer that amount from checking to savings. If someone has a better idea, I'd love to know it. I'd really like some kind of visual reminder but going to the bank every couple of days to get cash for a jar seems a little counterproductive to me.

I work tonight and need to get busy now coming up with something to take for my meal. I'm thinking leftover cornish hen will make great chicken salad to have with some fresh vegetables and dip. Smile

28 and counting!! :)

December 17th, 2011 at 03:08 pm

No, that isn't my age though don't I wish it was? It's also not the number of thousands of dollars I have in savings! Wink

It is, however, the number of hours I've gone without a cigarette!

I was so very tempted to buy a pack this afternoon on the way home from my very long and very, very busy day. I thought, "Well, I can smoke one or two then stop" but I know myself. If I buy a pack, I'll feel guilty for 'wasting' them and I'll smoke them all. Then I'll buy another pack. I'm better off simply not going there. No matter how much stress I'm under or how good one sounds at the moment.

I took my lunch and enjoyed it and didn't even really want a cigarette after eating. The day was so busy and stressful that I did break down and give into temptation eventually. I bought a Trenta iced coffee with plenty of cream after my shift was over. I spent $3.40 on that and part of me really didn't want to spend the money but the biggest part of me desperately wanted that iced coffee!

I work again tomorrow and have decided I'll not buy coffee, tea, or anything else at work. I'll be happy with my lunch and diet pepsi or water.

But yeah, 28 hours without a cigarette. Yaaaay me! Smile

And although I'm beat, a friend has asked me over for dinner and the Cowboys game, I said I'd go, and I'm going. He smokes occasionally so this might be a bit of a temptation but we'll see how it goes.

Thank you for the continued good thoughts and support. I very much appreciate y'all!

Basically a no spend day

December 16th, 2011 at 09:16 pm

I forgot to take my check book to Target so I couldn't pay the $84 on the Visa that I'd used to pay for my Novolog. I put the check book in my purse so I'll remember to do that tomorrow. I did take my lunch to work and didn't buy a single drink during my shift today.

To top that off, I didn't stop anywhere for cigarettes on the way in or on the way home and am now eating the garlic chicken I prepared and am about to go to bed since I have to get up at 5 AM.

My lunch and snacks for tomorrow are packed and I'm determined to not smoke tomorrow.

One day at a time.