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Three No Spend Days, trouble at the nursing home, and tax refund arrived

March 30th, 2015 at 04:23 pm

Saturday, yesterday, and today I spent nothing. I like no spend days and had planned for these so I feel as though I actually accomplished something.

I had an almost 6 hour shift at work and met Mom for lunch afterwards. It wasn't planned but she'd called me earlier in the day and told me about a problem with Pop at the nursing home and said she wanted to meet me to talk about it. We went to Luby's and she paid for lunch. How sweet! I tried to pay but she reminded me that I paid last time and ended the discussion with, "Besides, I'm your mother." as she handed a twenty to the cashier. 'Nuff said. ;-)

The situation with my stepdad isn't good. He's a fall risk and Saturday he fell trying to get out of a wheelchair and when Mom visited that day she was told he hadn't hurt himself. When she arrived today she found him with a bruised and swollen cheek, a bit of a black eye, and rib pain. X-rays show he has no broken ribs but he's hurting and of course, we're worried about him. We can't afford to hire a sitter to stay with him so the doctor suggested enrolling him in the hospice program at the home. Mom's going to make an appointment to talk to someone about that. I don't know a great amount about hospice but if it will give him more care and keep him safer it's worth looking into.

My tax refund arrived today. Darn it, it's a little over $200! That's too much. I really try to keep the refund amount under $100 but oh well.

I can't decide if I should put the refund amount toward the EF or use it for a trip to Austin my mother and I hope to take in May. My oldest son and his wife just bought their first home and it's been at least three years since I've gone to visit them and almost seven since Mom has. A short visit with them would be wonderful and my mother can definitely use a little time away. We'll split expenses so I might be able to put a little of the refund money in the EF. As much as I need to add to add to the EF I also need to spend some time with my son and his wife. So does Mom.

Sometimes emotional wellbeing needs to be a priority, if only for a few days. Okay, that settles it. Thanks for the advice, y'all. Ha!

Quiet weekend off but educating myself about IRAs and other investments

January 22nd, 2012 at 10:05 am

I'm off again this weekend. Oh my, this is the third one in a row! I work the next few but sure have enjoyed these breaks.

I was off Friday, too, and a friend and I went out for lunch then to the tiny asian market in our town where I spent $16 on some things I want to try then to a newish coffee shop that opened a piece down the road. I spent $3 there. The owner of the shop said she recognized me, asked if I work at a particular Starbucks, and told me how impressed she is with the service I give and experience I seem to have. Aww, that just made my day! She basically offered me a part time job, too, but it won't start until May if it happens. I think I'd like that, though. I gave her my number and told her to call me if she needs some part time help.

I stayed home yesterday so it was a no spender and later today I'm going to a friend's house to watch football. I'll probably buy a Diet Pepsi to take with me but other than that, there should be no spending. Yaaay! Speaking of Diet Pepsi, if I get one it will be my 4th in 3 weeks! I've cut way back on them.

By the way, I still haven't had a smoke. Today is day 37 and I haven't spent about $314 on cigarettes!

Okay, so someone I know online is educating me a bit about Roth IRAs and other investments. You know, over the years I've tried to learn a little here and a little there about investing but I've never been able to put it to use. Or rather, I simply didn't put it to use. I won't be able to act on this until later this year but I plan to open a Roth IRA, most likely with Vanguard. I did check my 401(k) this morning and found out it relied too heavily on common stock so I changed that. Meh, it's something.

I've spent a good deal of today reading about IRAs but now it's time to do laundry and clean the place!

Monday musings

January 16th, 2012 at 04:58 pm

Well, let's see....

Saturday I had to spend $100 on a car battery. I was out and about and the bleepin' van wouldn't start. It was the second time in 3 weeks so once I got it running again I headed straight to an auto parts place and bought a decent, mid-grade battery. Ahh, the joys of the emergency fund. Wink

Sunday was a no spend day. Sammy (the cat) and I cuddled on the couch most of the day watching Law & Order re-runs. It was heavenlyl

When I woke up this morning I realized today is Day 31 without smoking. I haven't spent about $263 on cigarettes. Nice, huh? Go, Denise, go, go! In addition, in the last two weeks I've had only two diet drinks. I'm on a roll, y'all!

I forgot to take my lunch to work so I spent about $4 on a sandwich and drink. Meh. I'll remember it tomorrow, I'm sure.

After work I went by the mall and took a quickie resume to the manager at the kitchen store. Apparently they terminated a part time employee today so I'm hoping they call me for an interview. I think I'd like 8 to 16 hours a week at a kitchen store. Hey, it's more time out and about and a little extra money and both of those are good things, yes?

And I got home this evening and found a brand new oven in my kitchen! My burners weren't working properly lately and maintenance came to check it and left me a note saying they'd order a new oven. I figured I'd be lucky to get a "new to me" unit and would have been quite happy with that, thanks, but to get a brand new GE oven is awesome! It's level, the burners don't wobble, and it seems to work beautifully! I imagine I'll be in the mood to play with it soon, probably this weekend. I can't wait.

Hmm, I guess that's about it... no smoking, kind of spendy weekend because of the battery and a new oven. Yaaay!

25 days without smoking, another NSD & my fridge is leftover free!

January 10th, 2012 at 03:45 pm

Today is Day 25 smoke free. I've not spent $212 for cigarettes and I feel great! I'm sleeping better and surely smell better. I've finished my main wall washing project but every two or three days I wash another wall. I do this to keep the place smelling fresh and to remind myself why I had to wash the walls to begin with. I suppose it's a form of doing penance.




And I'm very excited that today has been another No Spend Day and a No Leftover Day! Why? Because to have two NSDs in a week, much less in a row like yesterday and today, and to have a refrigerator with no leftovers, not because I threw them out but because I've cooked less and eaten any leftovers, show that my focus and hard work are starting to pay off.

For some people, having a NSD might not be a big deal but to me it's almost monumental. Not necessarily because I overspend on big things or a lot of things but because it's been my habit to spend small amounts almost every day. You know, I get a drink or two while at work, maybe a quick breakfast, and perhaps an inexpensive lunch because I forgot to take mine. And while I don't spend much when I do that, perhaps $8 or $9 for the day, it adds up. If I do that three days a week, I've blown $24 to $27! Over a month, that's enough to pay my electric and water bills and buy some groceries.

So, I see this week as evidence that what I'm doing is working. I have a long way to go until NSDs come easily and seem natural to me but I'm closer today than I was yesterday. And that's what it's all about.

I owe, I owe...

January 10th, 2012 at 04:57 am

but not much. Wink

I work today but it's another relatively short shift. I do get a meal period and a break so I have the last of the King Ranch Chicken, some cheese, and my last chocolate mousse packed to go with me. I already ate breakfast so with the snack at about 10:30 or so I should be good until 1:00 when I get lunch. I also have a couple of crystal light drinks so I shouldn't need to buy anything.

I'm trying for another no spend day. I don't know that I'll achieve it but I think I can. I've had three so far this month and would like several more.

Have a beautiful day, all!

Another NSD & a change in my menu with ideas needed

January 9th, 2012 at 12:40 pm

I got off work at 1 and came straight home. I haven't spent a penny today! I didn't buy any coffee or tea at work, no food, nada! Unless I have to go out for some reason I should be at home the rest of the day, not spending money. Smile

I took a breakfast sandwich and ate it when I got a couple minutes. I sure am glad I took it, too, because I got very hungry and would have bought something if I hadn't had that sandwich.

So now I'm at home. The other package of boneless ribs the boss and I bought is thawing. She's requested some cooked in a way other than how we had them for New Years so I'll do something with them this evening. I'd like to use the slow cooker and am considering marinating them in Dale's then sprinkling them with garlic powder and pan frying them a bit before putting them in the slow cooker for the night.

I'm open to other ideas on how to prepare them but whatever I do it needs to be done tonight as I have to be at work at 7:30 in the morning.

2 NSDs, cooking for one, odds & ends

January 8th, 2012 at 09:42 am

Wednesday was a no spend day and yesterday was another. Awesome! I can't recall the last time I managed that but hope I have many more in the future. Smile

Today was destined to not be one because of the laundry. I went to the washateria this morning but it was closed. I needed to burn about 20 minutes until it opened so I drove to Albertson's and am glad I did. They had boneless, skinless chicken breasts on sale for $1.79 lb so I got 2 packages of those. They also had boneless sirloin steak for $2.99 a lb so I got a few of those. When I got home I divided it all into one serving portions, used the vacuum sealer, and now have plenty of meat in the freezer again. I hadn't planned on spending that $20 but my supply of meat was getting very low and I don't pass up a good deal on meat, especially when I'm so low on it.

When I got home I put the clothes away (by the way, I spent $2.50 on the laundry) and ended up getting sidetracked by canvas bags. Yes, canvas bags. I had several in the closet and they all had stuff in them and for some reason it was bothering me to not know what all was in them so I cleaned them all out, threw away the old trash, gum wrappers and whatnot, put away other items, etc. and now I have them all hanging together on one hanger. In the process of going through them I found my iPod headphones I thought I'd lost, several small bottles of bath/shower gel, and 15 cents. It was almost like Christmas! Wink

I spent some time yesterday looking at "cooking for one" sites and am dismayed how few helpful ones there are. I found a lot of sites saying that's their purpose but they don't give a lot of practical information or actual recipes. Contrary to what one would think, it isn't always as easy as cutting a recipe in half or thirds or whatever. Yes, it often works that way but not every time. I did find a few sites with helpful information and recipes, though, and will spend time today pillaging and plundering.

Tonight's dinner will be the turkey ham and cabbage from my menu but I'm going to change it a little. I have about 3 ounces of chicken broth languishing in the fridge so I'm going to use that with a bit of butter and olive oil to fry the cabbage, onion, sweet potato, and turkey ham all together. I might pass on the green beans but am not sure about that yet.

I work tomorrow but it's a fairly short shift and I don't get a meal break so I shouldn't need to take lunch or buy anything there. I might even be able to make it a NSD!

Finally had a NSD, $1 bill challenge, 3 weeks of not smoking & more

January 6th, 2012 at 03:59 am

So yesterday I finally had a NSD! I didn't even leave the apartment except to go out on the patio to enjoy the absolutely stunningly beautiful weather we had! I just checked my calendar and I have no bills due today. I don't need gas in the vehicle, don't need to get groceries, and if I can refrain from buying anything at work, I can get another NSD. That would be fun.

Here it is the 6th of January and I have one little dollar bill for the $1 bill challenge. *sigh* I've been staying out of stores, don't stop for cigarettes anymore, etc so I haven't had need for any bills, I guess. Wink

But hey, today makes three weeks since I've bought/smoked a cigarette! That's equal to $178 not spent on those things and that's a neat way to end my week!

Interesting that although I canceled the cable TV service a couple of days ago it's still working. I'm not watching it, though. I figure I need to get used to not having it so I just leave it off, flipping it on in the morning to see if it's still working. It is as of an hour or so ago. The change was supposed to be effective immediately but I don't know much about this stuff so I'll let it go a few days to see what happens.

The mexican stew and king ranch chicken in my fridge are going to work with me today and I hope both containers are empty when I clock out! I have the feeling they will be. I just have to come up with ideas to keep me from cooking when I have a fridge full of leftovers to eat.

That's about it for yesterday and this morning. Nothing too exciting other than the Quit. Smile

January budget, using leftovers, & more boring stuff ;)

January 3rd, 2012 at 07:52 am

I need to pay rent and water today but other than that, there shouldn't be any spending. I hope! I need a lot of NSDs as January's budget is slim, indeed. My car and life insurances are up for renewal this month so I have a lot money going out and not much coming in!

I'm going to cut my grocery budget to $100 for this month. Considering that I can't eat enough of the high carb, low cost foods like rice, beans, and pasta to do much good it's definitely going to be a challenge. My diet is mainly meats and low carb vegetables with a tiny amount of the higher carb things thrown in once in awhile for variety. I'm going to have to make better use of the foods I already have on hand and really limit my trips to the grocery/food spending. I know I can do this but I might need a cheering section. Smile

In light of the above, I have a mexican stew simmering on the stove and will take that to work with me. My boss will most likely eat some as will some of the other folks hanging around. I've had a few people online and at work express the opinion that it's odd to take food for all to work but it isn't odd to me. I still struggle with cooking small quantities, leftovers seem to languish into oblivion in my fridge, and I'm not real big on food that's been cooked, frozen, and reheated so in addition to making very small quantities of food, I make larger quantities and share it. I call it Random Acts of Food Kindness, or RAOFK for short. Wink Some of the young people where I work don't have money, don't have much food, and absolutely love to dig in to whatever I bring. And I love cooking for others so it's a win win situation. It might look like I'm spending money on food for other people (which doesn't help my budget) but this stew is made entirely of leftovers and if I hadn't created it I'd have thrown it all out!



Not bad, huh?

Day 17 of not smoking, homemade noodles & more

January 2nd, 2012 at 03:06 pm

So today is my 17th day of not smoking. 144 pennies in the jar, each penny representing $1 not spent on cigarettes since December 16th, the day I quit. Pretty impressive, I think! I've had very few cravings for a cigarette and although I've had some rough moments it's been much easier than I anticipated. I'm not sure why that is but it is. I'm happy about it, though!



I think I might be sick with a bug so I've been resting on the couch all afternoon. I know I have to eat something, though, so I have 4 chicken thighs boiling and will use the meat for chicken and noodles, complete with homemade noodles. I have just a few store bought noodles so I made a tiny batch of homemade herb noodles to add to them. I really don't eat noodles often at all but gosh, I love them, and the homemade kind is the best!

Noodles aren't hard to make and they're absolutely delicious! I generally put some kind of fresh herb in them but cheese is fantastic, too. Try this, play with it, and make it your own.

Homemade Noodles

1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp milk
1 cup flour (I generally use a combination of soy and whole wheat flours)

Mix egg, salt and milk. Add enough flour to make stiff dough. Roll thin, let stand 20 minutes. Roll up and slice 1/8 inch thick. Spread to dry for about 2 hours. Drop in boiling broth and cook 10 minutes.

And that's it! Nothing to it, really, and they're so much tastier than the kind you buy. If you try this recipe, let me know how it works for you.

Tomorrow I pay rent and the water bill but that should be it for the day's spending. I have a special work project Wednesday and it involves spending money so that won't be a no spend day. Darn it! Perhaps Thursday! It seems as though finding those no spend days just gets harder and harder.

A no spend day, very cold weather, & the picture taking challenge

January 8th, 2010 at 04:38 am

Yesterday was my long a** shift at work (that's what I call it) so I took lunch of leftover crustless spinach and cheese quiche with a small piece of the lower carb faux cornbread I had leftover. I had that for lunch with some ice water and it was very good, indeed.

The man person and I went out for chinese but used our gift certificate which helped us finish the day as a no spend day. Yaaaay!

This morning it's 19 degrees out. Brrrrr! I don't go to work until this evening and then I work only a 3.5 hour shift so I hope to do very little today that involves going outside. I'd like to just stay inside if possible. I don't think any bills are due but I'll look over them and pay any that are, move some money into savings, and do a little more gathering of stuff to sell/give away.

Oh yes, my youngest step son is here so I'll probably put up a picture later of the two of us as part of my

Text is picture taking challenge and Link is http://pinchthatpenny.savingadvice.com/2010/01/01/non-finance-related-mission-for-you-all-_56186/
picture taking challenge from January 1st! I might even be able to get him to take a picture of me and the man person. If so, I'll share it.

Have a great day, all!