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Archive for January, 2006

a little stressed out lately...

January 19th, 2006 at 12:46 pm

...so much so, that I've started wearing my night guard (for my teeth) to bed because I've been clenching my jaw. I catch myself doing it while awake, so no doubt I'm doing it while I sleep, too. My jaw hurts.

So what's all the fuss? Well, we may be moving. The current Boston job market is not kind to J's line of work. Also I am putting out a lot of money for "professional education." Yep, it might be time for me to change careers. Then there are tiny stressors like work issues, some home repair we got done this week, rescheduling appointments...even an upset dog.

I'll post more when I'm happier. Just checking in now.

relatively cheap 3-day weekend ahead

January 13th, 2006 at 09:17 am

I’ve been kind of bad this week about not bringing my lunch. I just haven’t felt like cooking at all, and have been eating pb&j sandwiches and cereal for dinner. (I could live on pb&j.) Good thing we don’t have kids. Wink I’ve only spent $15 this week, at least. Still, I need to start cooking big batches and getting the freezer stocked up for when I have weeks like this. I remember I went through a similar period several months ago, though at the time I wasn’t labeling my freezer containers so sometimes I didn’t know what I was bringing for lunch. Once, what I thought was pureed squash soup turned out to be curry sauce—oops! I started using freezer labels after that.

Not much in the way of plans for this 3-day weekend. Tomorrow, a local charity is coming to pick up some old furniture that’s been hanging out in the basement. I’ve been waiting to get rid of it so that I can give the basement a good cleaning. It will cost $25 to have that furniture picked up.

Then, I’m taking the dog to the vet to get his nails clipped for another $15. I hate paying someone to do it, but not as much as I hate doing it myself. I get so nervous about hurting him that my hands start shaking and I start sweating; meanwhile, he’s trying to pull his paw away with a look on his face like, “You don’t know what you’re doing, lady!” which only makes it worse…

whee--on with the new year

January 12th, 2006 at 09:25 am

Well, it's finally feeling back to normal around here, so I thought I'd check in with an update. It's been a largely no-spend week except for lunch today and yesterday (around $10 total) because I just haven't felt like cooking the last couple of nights. Been a little under the weather; I think I caught a mild version of J's cold.

I've made progress toward my goal of moving 2 months' worth of living expenses to an account with a higher interest rate (leaving one month's worth in our local bank)--the other night I changed my ING account into a joint account and moved $9000 there.

I paid $300 toward my credit card, so the balance is now $6070. I think I'll send in another hundred soon just to get it below $6000, simply for the psychological boost.

not a bad spending week

January 7th, 2006 at 05:07 am

I did pretty well this week--I brought my lunch every day, and spent money mainly on necessities--groceries, gas, $10 dog license fee...my only superfluous spending was a $3.03 latte at Dunkin Donuts, and that was because we'd run out of our favorite coffee at home and I was tired of drinking the other chicory-flavored stuff. Thursday and Friday I didn't spend anything at all.

Now the week BEFORE...I went wild, spending Christmas money. A new electric throw because my darling dog (DD? heh) chewed up the other one, a 3-year subscription to Money Magazine for $29.85 (that seemed like a good deal), a new terry robe, some essential and fragrance oils to make soaps and bath salts, some new makeup/skin care stuff...I don't regret any of it at all, though. I don't always have this kind of guilt-free spending, but this time I felt good about treating myself (especially since someone else footed the bill). Smile

Goals, This and that

January 6th, 2006 at 12:40 pm

I tried out The Grocery Game, but cancelled my membership before the trial ran out. We don't spend that much on groceries to begin with (at most, $50/week), so I don't think we'd get much use out of it, really--I'm only shopping for 2, and I don't buy a lot of convenience foods. Also it relies kind of heavily on Sunday paper coupons, and I don't get the Sunday paper. I can see where it might work out for larger families who DO get a Sunday paper, but I don't think I would have gotten my money's worth. If I need something I buy it, and if I spot something on sale that I can use now or later, I buy it. That works well enough for me.

This is my first attempt at creating goals for 2006. I still need to talk some of them over with J, whereupon they may be tweaked:

Concrete goals:

1) Draw up will or trust
2) Save 3 months of living expenses for a total of $16,500 (currently at $13,134)
3) Move bulk of savings to an account with a higher interest rate
4) Figure out household net worth
5) Change cell phone provider--I want a better deal, so technically it's a financial goal, albeit a small one (nevertheless, I've been putting it off for months)
6) Review insurance policies to ensure best deal

Less concrete goals:

1) Continue learning about investing and personal finance
2) PAY OFF CREDIT CARD DEBT (currently $6370)
3) Continue contributing at least $140/week to 403b

i-bond question for the i-bond queen, baselle!

January 5th, 2006 at 08:52 am

Hi Baselle, and anyone else who might be reading this!

I bought an I-Bond in late October, for $400. The value hasn't changed--that is, I can't see that any interest has been added to it, though I thought it was supposed to be applied monthly. Can you explain why this might be happening. (In other words, is something wrong?)

Thanks!