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Archive for December, 2012

2013 Goals

December 31st, 2012 at 12:46 pm

My 2013 Financial Goals:

1. Pay down my mortgage principal by $25,000.
2. Keep careful track of every penny spent. Track # of NSD's each week.
3. Use coupons and keep my grocery food shopping to a $50 a week budget. This is for food only, not personal care products. I know there will be weeks where I can stay well below the $50 budget.

Health Goals:
1. Lose 1 lb. a week
2. Workout 4 times a week
3. Cut back on eating processed foods.
4. Drink more water
5. Take my vitamins every day

I think these are all reasonable goals and I am looking forward to continuing to track my progress here!

Happy New Year Everyone!

CVS shopping

December 30th, 2012 at 04:26 pm

I was runnung low on a lot of personal care items and I noticed that CVS was offering $10 extra bucks rewards for spending $30 on select items. I was happy to see some great sales on the product brands that I normally purchase. I checked all my coupons and found that I had a coupon for each item I wanted to buy, and I had a $4 off CVS coupon, so off I went. I purchased:

36 rolls of Charmin (double roll) TP
3 bottles of Herbal Essences shampoo
1 bottle of Pantene shampoo
1 bottle of Pantene conditioner
1 bottle of liquid Tide detergent
2 Secret gel deodorants
1 bottle of Dawn dishwashing liqid

I saved $14.50 using coupons and my total with tax was $31.88. I used a Visa gift card I received for Christmas to pay for it so no money out of my pocket!

And, I still have the $10 extra bucks to use on a future purchase, so I'll realize another $10 of free stuff.

The CVS is in a shopping center right up the street from my house. My grocery store and my bank are also in this same shopping center so I use very little gas to access the CVS and can combine my grocery shopping
in one trip! I am a happy shopper today!

Broke the six figure mark on the mortgage

December 27th, 2012 at 01:57 pm

Previous balance was $100,453.77. New balance is $98,406.55!

After a wonderful Christmas with family and friends it's time to sit down and prepare some goals for 2013. One goal will be to have as many NSD's as possible. I really want to carefully watch every penny.

I will have one big expense this year, all new windows for my house. The money is already saved, but I will still hate to spend it!

Finally Feeling Ready

December 21st, 2012 at 01:16 pm

Every year I host Christmas Eve at my house. My family all come over for food and fun and gift giving. We always have a great time! On this years menu is glazed ham, risotto, crispy sesame green beans, perrogies in an onion butter sauce,biscuits, a veggie platter, assorted cheese platter, dips, and apple pies for dessert. Wine, beer, and some flavored martinis for drinks. It looks like my mom will be able to come home for most of the day from the assisted living facility too.

So the house is decorated, all of my gifts are bought and wrapped, and most of the groceries are bought so I am finally feeling ready for Christmas! I budgeted $500 for everything this year and while I haven't added everything up yet I did stay under that amount.

It's funny I really generally dislike cooking and grocery shopping, but when I am hosting a dinner for family and friends I really get into it and have been told that I am a pretty good cook! I guess just cooking for myself doesn't really inspire me much.

It suddenly got very cold and windy today here on the east coast. I am glad to be home for the night!

BIG Spenders, we all know one!

December 19th, 2012 at 11:32 am

I have an old friend who lives in another state, but he often posts on FB about what he is up too. Mostly it involves spending money. He recently purchased a new Cadillac, took a trip to Costa Rico and spent $1000 at Costco on Christmas decorations for his house and food for an upcoming party.

K is a lot of fun, always the life of the party! He has a "you can't take it with you" attitude. What worries me (in addition to his crazy spending) is that he works for a defense contractor and with deep defense spending cuts on the horizon, he may be in danger of being laid-off. He has worked there his whole life and only has a high school diploma, so I really worry that he will have a very difficult time finding employment. He is also over 50, a double whammy.

While I am careful with money, I do spend on activities that I enjoy, and have an active social life, but I budget for these things, so I don't feel like I am missing out on life because I am a saver!

Those Costa Rico vacation photos did make me drool just a little though! My next big vacation will be in 2014....saving for Hawaii!

Rough Couple of Weeks

December 14th, 2012 at 10:41 am

My 86 year old mom (who lives with me) has been in and out of the hospital the past few months, but really declined about 2 weeks ago and was rushed to the hospital again. She is doing better but will now need to be admitted to a short term assisted living facility for a 4-6 week stay for some post-op care.

The toll it has taken on her is of course my primary concern, but something like this just wreaks havoc with a normal schedule, work, meals, sleep, traveling back and forth to the hospital etc. I just "live better" when I have a set routine and schedule.

My budget for the last 2 weeks is just all messy. I was pulling money out to eat on the run, pick up some things that my mom needed, more gas money than usual etc. My body is feeling it too. Way too much junk food, not enough sleep and no time to exercise or to just chill out.

Now that things are starting to settle down, I can get back on track, but it got me to thinking that unfortunately, my mom will prbably continue to have health challenges and I need to really be more prepared when these emergencies happen so that I don't go into a tailspin.

I have a fully funded emergency fund for money, but seem to lacking on a "life planning emergency fund" for all the other things (not money related) that happen.

On a happier note, it's Friday!