Friday, December 25, 2009

Favorite Christmas Gifts.

1. Aromatherapy diffuser that my mom got at a store close-out sale for $1. I'm excited for my condo to smell better.

2. New Sonicare toothbrush. My old one died. This one is lightweight and easier to clean than the last one.

3. Adorable homemade hot pads and towels.

And, not a gift, but my mom hemmed my $6 Goodwill dress for me. I'm excited to wear it. Pictures at a later date.

Monday, December 14, 2009

O, Christmas Tree



Here is this year's Christmas tree. I bought some lights for it, which cost about $12. I also bought a new $3 ornament (purple ballet slippers!) Besides that, almost all of the ornaments have been given to me. And the tree? Artificial, decent-ish, and free from the side of the road!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Hollywood Video Refund



The Hollywood Video by my house closed down. I was signed up for some thing there called Power Play, where you get a certain number of points each money and then can use the points to rent videos. I don't rent videos too often, but it ended up being cheaper usign this program. Plus, the points rolled over from month to month, so you could use them later if you needed to.

When I heard about my job ending I was planning on canceling the membership anyway. But, the store closed down, so I had an even better reason. I called the Hollywood Video hotline, who informed me that my membership was automatically canceled. they also informed me to call a number within the next three weeks for a refund.

I called today, and they let me know that I could get me $7.95 that I paid for November back, since the store closed in the middle of November. Good, right? No, not good enough. I asked if there was anything that could be done about all the points I had accumulated. She put me on hold to find out. When she came back she told me that the total amount of my refund would be $31. Yes! $31!! Much, much better than $7.95.

I had her put it back on my credit card, since I have a little balance on there from this month's bills that I pay automatically with my credit card. I was very happy that I asked about the extra points, as it earned me another $23 or so.


Photo from Capitol Hill Block at http://www.capitolhillseattle.com

Monday, December 7, 2009

FML?

Hi loyal readers,

A rough day today. I applied for two jobs within my agency and didn't screen into either one of them, leaving me without so much as an interview. I have also applied for several other jobs, but heard nothing back. It is a discouraging day.

Among everything though, I am not worried about money. I am anxious about the future. I am sad that my wonderful job is coming to and end. I'm upset to leave the community of people that I have spent the past year with. But I am not worried about money.

Why not? I've probably told you before, but I am a super-employable individual. If I can't get regular employment, I can baby-sit my way out of many financially rough situations. I can pay my mortgage by piecing things together. I can do it.

My emergency funds are looking better by the day as well. I still have $1000 in debt to pay off, which will be done before the end of the year. After that, I have enough of a buffer to live for a little while without a job. That being said though, I always have my supplemental (baby-sitting) income to live on until the regular employment happens. It's unlikely that I will even have to dip into the emergency savings. Possible, but unlikely.

I'm also blessed with the possibility of unemployment checks. This would of course affect my ability to do my supplemental work, but still an option if I need to take it.

So, the cycle continues of applying for work, baby-sitting like crazy and throwing it into savings, and praying for the best most rewarding and similar-to-my-old-job-paying position to come up. I know it will. I have faith.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Updatez


Hi friends,

Just a check in. I've been a little stressed out this week over the job situation. I have applied for two jobs that I thought I would certainly get interviews for, but have not gotten anything yet. Rough! Luckily, I have time and potential for unemployment. I'm not worried about money, really--I seem to be doing fine with saving. I just worry about not finding the right job for me. It needs to be something that I enjoy that compensates me at a rate similar to what I make now, and it needs to be full time. My current job also has excellent benefits, which are going to be hard to give up if I need to leave the agency.

Still working on saving though. Here are some things I've been doing.

I've been taking advantage of all of the little perks that I get from work. Making sure my VEBA Claims get sent in for reimbursement. Making sure my mileage is turned in on time. These reimbursements can really add up. If I receive all the reimbursements this month it will be an extra $400! And it will all go in savings.

I've been really limiting my grocery shopping and working off what I have in the cupboards. I used to do a lot of little grocery trips (I waver back and forth on this, actually, but have been careless lately) and now I do not. I'm doing every two weeks, spending a maximum of $60ish dollars each time. I did stop at the produce stand today, but was very careful not to overbuy and only ended up spending $4.57 on some carrots, spinach, avocado, satsumas, cucumber, zucchini, green beans, a banana and a butternut squash. Those things can combine with canned and dried food to make some excellent meals. I made my own hummus tonight with my newly purchased ($4.50 at the thrift-store!) food processor and ate it with carrots, cucumbers, avocado tortillas. Nom nom.

I haven't even started Christmas shopping, but I'm going to be very sparse this year and buy people gift cards for the amount that I can. I'm only shopping for my immediate family as well, unless I see something perfect for someone that is reasonably priced. I'll explain in a later post why I really don't believe in Christmas gifts.

I've been doing well laying off the booze. I did have a fun, expensive-ish night out on Saturday for the Lashes reunion show, but only had one drink and half of a (cheese-less) pizza while out. I had the opportunity to drink more at the Cha Cha but chose not to. My body thanked me for it on Sunday. I also shared some food and beers and wine with friends at my house prior to the show, which was lovely and inexpensive.

I'm babysitting like crazy still, maybe too much, but it's good for now. I've packed a lot into the next two weekends, then I think I'll give myself the weekend after that off, as it's my (fake) husband's holiday party at work. All this babysitting is ending up to be a lot of extra money.

The great part is that I need an emergency fund anyway, and I need to be saving money for a new car. If, by some miracle, I get a new job very soon, I can transfer a lot of the money I have saved into my new car fund. I can also use it to pay off my remaining family debt (which is almost done anyway.)

I've been reading a lot of PF stuff saying to take it one goal at a time, so after this debt is paid off my main savings goal will be for a new car. Specifically, a 2005 to 2008 Chevy Malibu. I'm excited. I hope to save enough money for one by the time I turn 27. Do you think I can do it?