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Archive for April, 2018

Nice Weekend

April 22nd, 2018 at 10:38 pm

The weather was sunny but still chilly this weekend. One of the things I really enjoy is having my morning coffee out on my balcony on the weekends. I'm an early riser, even on the weekends, and I love enjoying the quiet before the hustle and bustle starts. So I spent some time cleaning up out there, washed everything down, cleaned the patio chairs and table and put out the indoor outdoor rug. Now I just need it to warm up enough to enjoy it!

Financially, I'm having a good month. I spent $715.97 so far this month and will only need gas and probably one more small grocery shop for some fresh veggies, fruit and bread. All other bills are paid. I took some chili out of the freezer for lunches this week, and have a pretty stocked freezer for dinners.

As I was thinking about the upcoming work week it struck me how many people I saw for appointments last week who were in the 50's - 60's age ranges and having trouble finding full time employment. A common theme seemed to be age discrimination. These were people with solid educations and work histories, who had been laid off (seemingly for no reason beside their age) and just could not find work. It's so prevalent in todays work culture. It's frustrating and discriminatory and almost impossible to prove. I just wish I had an answer for them.

Hoping everyone reading has a good week!

Sunday Update

April 15th, 2018 at 08:30 pm

April is going a whole lot better then March so far, financially. At mid month I've spent right around $650.00, and all of my usual bills are already paid for the month. I'll probably need to get gas before the end of the month, and some groceries but don't foresee any other spending. I should easily come in under my spending goal of $1000.00 for the month.

I received the $200 bonus from the Chase credit card offer for spending $500 in 3 months. The total rewards amount was actually $208.13. I also cashed out for another $50 Swagbucks CVS giftcard. It's nice to have these extras coming in.

The weather in my part of the east coast was absolutely gorgeous on Friday and Saturday! Spring finally showed up for a couple of days, although POOF, it's gone today. Back to being chilly and rainy. Yesterday I went to my brother's for a cookout. It always feels like spring when we can break out the grill for hamburgers and dogs! We had a great time relaxing in the backyard enjoying the weather and food. I was sent home with leftovers that will take care of a few dinners this week.

Two of my friends and I have been meeting after work a few days a week to mall walk. The weather has been too crappy to walk much outside so we meet up and do some laps inside the mall. It's really a good exercise routine that includes going up and down the steps, but offers benches if we poop out and need a seat! Every now and then we will get a healthy smoothie afterward for dinner.

Work continues to be so challenging. I'm really trying to just stay out of the drama as much as possible, but am determined to retire from full time work there in 2 years. I will not be flush with cash in retirement, but I'm also not going to be afraid of living on a modest budget to be happier.

Wishing everyone a very happy week ahead!

Back to Work!

April 9th, 2018 at 12:05 am

It's back to work tomorrow after a wonderful week off for spring break. I was able to get some things crossed off my to do list and also have some frugal fun. I took my car in for an oil change, tire rotation and filter change. This maintenance is free from Toyota at the dealership where I purchased the car. I also had the door edge guard replaced (free under warranty) on the passenger door because it had come loose at the top. I also had the HVAC at the condo yearly service done at no cost because it's covered under the service plan I have. So not technically free but no additional cost.

I made a crockpot of chili today, and will be having this for some lunches and dinners this week. I froze about half for future meals. I also had some leftover chicken tortilla soup I made on Saturday for a potluck dinner I hosted on Saturday. It was a casual get together with my friends and everyone brought something. We played a few games and had a great time.

After my very expensive March, I am really watching my spending carefully this month. I went out to lunch once this week, and met some friends for drinks one evening but only had one glass of wine. The week really flew by.

The weather has still been quite chilly but we should be warming up this week, finally!

I hope everyone has a great week!

March Spending

April 1st, 2018 at 11:39 pm

Total Spending $4091.62

Here is a breakdown of March Spending. My goal was to stay under $1000 for the month. Way over!!!!

Fixed Expenses:

Verizon Bundle: 172.85 (Internet, home phone, cable)
Monthly Condo Fee: 185.00
Cell Phone: 0 (new phone contract starts in April)
HVAC and water heater maintenance contract: 27.95
Pocket money: 40

Utilities: 80.35
Gasoline: 66.83
Groceries: 279.37
Health: 74.78 (scripts and co-pays)
Dining Out: 114.93
Shoes: 63.59

One Time Expenses
Condo Insurance (full year) 458.00
New Cell Phone: 480.00
Water Pik: 63.57
Cell Phone Accessories 103.00
Taxes: 1807.00
AARP renewal (year) 74.00

Some notes: My grocery and eating out categories are very high due to buying groceries for my cousin and his wife, and getting take out while I was at their house after the car accident. I also had to fill up my gas tank twice due to traveling to their house. He has offered to reimburse me, but I'm not considering it. I'm worried about them financially, so I'm just counting it as caring for family. They would offer to do the same for me.

I splurged a bit on a nice case for the new phone, a screen protector, an extra charger, and having the store transfer my information from my old phone to the new one.

My dental hygienist recommended that I get the water pik, and I can already see and feel a difference. A good investment in oral health!

Taxes: Yikes! I'll be making some adjustments!

So, overall a very expensive month, but I had the $$ saved for the condo insurance and I was able to cash flow the taxes. I'm looking forward to a much less expensive April!

I had a wonderful Easter with family today. And I have this week off for spring break!

Have a great week everyone!

Some other notes:
*My condo is paid in full, no mortgage.
*My car is paid off, no car payment
*No Credit card debt

My Verizon Bundle includes a premium sports package.

Condo fee includes: water, trash removal, snow removal, all outside building maintenance, landscaping and a master insurance policy.