Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Happy Leap Year ...

It was a Zero Spend Day, thankfully!  Of course, that would be probably because I was running late this morning to work and then went straight from work to the gym ... and who wants to shop after being all hot and sweaty, right? I should take that approach much more often!

I stopped by Target last night (no working out, obviously) and picked up a pair of boots for $11.98. Yes. Cheap. Shoes. Yippee! Mind you, it's been 80 plus degrees and humid. But I will wear these boots ... trust me ... I've been on a boot wanting kick this past season and now I have 3 pairs. I think that is MORE than enough so no more ...

I will be setting up the cell phone, credit cards, american express and electric bill for payment by Friday. I just realized I didn't get the $400 today so need to make sure I get that deposited too ... I will need to hit AE hard this month :-( Ugg.

I'm thinking tomorrow should be a Zero Spend Day also and hopefully Friday too. However, Mark will be on me to get the truck washed and I can get it done for about $15 or so. And it will look like new (the body shop where we had them check something out and they had it for 10 days while I was out of town, they had it parked inside so it's got all that body shop dust) ... we will see. I know, I can wash it myself, but honestly, I just don't want to dedicate 2 hours to cleaning it ... lazy? Yes, maybe, I am, but I have plenty of other things to do with my 2 hours.

Monday, February 27, 2012

February 27, 2012

I can't believe the 2nd month of the Year of Zero is coming to an end! And as depressing as it may be to actually TYPE this, things are not working the way I had hoped. I suppose nothing ever does go as planned.

I am going to continue with a reduced grocery budget of $20.00 a week through March, hopefully. I was doing so very well prior to the trip back for my Dad, and now feel the NEED to continue for another 4 to 5 weeks. So, this morning, I put 3 fives and 5 singles in my wallet. Already, I need to get half and half ($3) but that's it so far. I'd like to pick up some potatoes but we will see.

I am going to be hit hard on the American Express Bill. The cost of hotel (unexpected) and the change of the ticket to return home. Not to mention a few miscellaneous charges that were put on while in Indiana. So the $400 I get from the attorney is going straight to AE. Along with any other money that might show up ...

We also may need to do a quick trip to Indiana NEXT WEEK already. Get there Sunday and come back Tuesday evening. Hubby has some stuff he may need to tend to (legal stuff) and I would go along to do a quick check on Dad since it would be the 2nd week for him there. Ugggg. I need to get my ducks all lined up. Can you say STRESS?

Bills are all paid for the month as of today (thankfully) and I have 2 $143 checks to deposit, along with a $60 miscellaneous check. The $60 is being applied to AE. The $286 will hang out until the 1st, which then if all is well, I will hit AE with that too. The $400 comes on Wednesday and will hit AE there too ... so $746 right off the top ... makes me feel a little better! Of course, I'd like to have that in my savings account but I have different priorities this month.

So that's my update for the day. Not much to really show but hey, it's about being disciplined and following through for me at this point.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Catching Up

I've lost count of how much money has been spent in the past 10 days.

I ended up staying 4 more days in the Midwest to take care of my dad and get him settled in to the rehab facility. Yes. A nursing home. My brother and his wife decided at 5pm on Friday that they no longer wanted to care for him. Not so nicely either. And not at all ethical in the way it was done. And that is really not the complete worse of what happened. Let's just leave it at Family Drama.

So ... lets see. Approx $350 for the tickets (since I had to change my return date, I no longer got it dirt cheap), hotel for 2 nights (for me and dad til I got us situated) $170, clothes, toiletries, etc. for dad (for 2 days til I could get the rest of his stuff) $80. Car rental $310 or so. Food for dad for 2 days at home $45 (he's a bad diabetic and I had cleared everything out of the fridge and freezer before all the stuff hit the fan), $109 for locksmith to change locks on trailer, $100 for Humane Society (4 cats to be euthanized, sorry, there was no other options folks, all the shelters were full and would NOT accept the cats as they were in poor health), about $300 more in miscellaneous eating and packing material, garbage bags, etc. And then about $200 in gas (a lot of driving) ...

It was an expensive trip after all. But at least I managed to get the trailer 85% cleared out. Had I known the way things were going to turn beforehand, I would have been able to get in close to 100% but alas, things never go according to plan!

I am planning on relaxing this weekend and will resume the Year of Zero and hopefully have some Zero Spend Days as I certainly am in dire need of them!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Monday and Tuesday, February 13th and 14th, 2012

Monday, Zero Spend Day (yeah!) ... busy day at work and the people picked up the bowflex after work.

Tuesday, $19.87 spent at the store: 2 loaves of bread, gallon of  milk, bag of cat food, head of iceburg, container of baby greens and box of cheerios. I would have totally waved off the cheerios but Mark was protesting. I did stop at BK in the morning too, $4.76 for the quick fix breakfast. Doh. Dumb of me.

I fly out Wednesday so will try to post updates as I go. I've got the $200 from the bowflex in my wallet. I'd like to come home with $100. I also would like to stay straight cash while there. We will see (already, my brother and I are butting heads on the trailer, I say donate, he wants to store? Why??)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Friday, Saturday and Sunday (February 10th to 12th)

Technically, 2 days of Zero Spend ... but I did stop at Macy's Friday to pick up some undergarments ... used a gift card I've been saving. See below for Saturdays events.

I've not stepped foot in a grocery store since Tuesday and probably won't hit one up until Tuesday again ... need to stop and get a few things before I head out of town.

The flight was surprisingly cheap for a non stop trip. $183 total round trip. Of course, once I'm there, a few dollars will leave my account.  Will probably stop at Costco before I get on the highway (one right there within minutes of the airport) to pick up some cleaning stuff, water bottles and a few other things to contribute to the households ... As I've been told that my father wants to clear the trailer out and get 'rid of it' ... I will hopefully be able to make a sizable contribution in the cleaning. Whether or not he will be there with me is another story. He is staying with my brother and wife and does not want to go back there, but rather come down here with me. Forever. Yike. It will be a little uncomfortable sitting for a long time to spend time with my dad at their house, so I am thinking of a few things to get him out to do ... movie, dinner, lunch, etc. Plus I will go with my father in law to look at some assisted living places he was checking out for me ... I'm hoping this will go well. I will also take him out for dinner one evening as appreciation for what he's assisting me with.

We sold the Bowflex today, $200 ... I had it listed for quite a while and have been knocking down the price every week. We were down to $250 but a young couple came over, left, called back and made an offer, so of course, I said YES because we were getting ready to donate to a non-profit rehabilitation facility....that $200 will be applied to the $1200 car insurance bill coming up. There was also a $140 check received from an old investment account we had ... not quite sure what it's for as we had moved the account several years back ... so $350 approximately to be applied towards the insurance which means I can apply to:

My hair. On Saturday, I broke down and went and got my hair done. Hubby kept dropping subtle hints. And not so subtle. My usual girl is on maternity leave, so went down the street here, figuring it couldn't be too much more than what I usually pay. I was fine until I got the parking ticket. Damn it. $300 for color, highlights, scalp massage, cut and blow dry, style and parking ticket. 4 hours. Done. I regret that it cost THAT much, but it does look great and he did a fantastic job. Need to look for other options before May (Vegas bound).

Friday, February 10, 2012

Wednesday and Thursday, February 8 and 9, 2012

Ahhh...2 more Zero Spend Days ... makes me a happy camper. I've been good in going straight to work out after I leave the office, and well, heck, who wants to browse a store all sweaty? Not me!

Mark has had jury duty all week and will most likely be in for the next week too on a trail. Interesting but of course, can't say a whole lot about it. They asked some pretty detail questions about what I do and who my attorneys are, but he's not said much to me. Did ask me what a Wild Deed was last night so that definitely perked my ears ... that's a SERIOUS title defect that NO ONE wants to tackle to cure ... so I'm starting to imagine all kinds of things!

I still have $11 in my purse (I hope, I've not seen it!) and I dont' think I need anything for the weekend, except, maybe a loaf of bread ... but not sure who will eat it. Oh, and maybe cat food. He's getting low (no litter, yeah!!)

I leave for Indiana on the 15th, and know that my Zero Spending will go out the window but am going to be ultra conservative while there. My father is being released from the hospital on Friday and he is (apparently) going to stay with my brother and his wife for a few weeks. Interesting, very very interesting. My brother was sending me texts at 9pm Thursday night but I didn't see them til I went to bed at 11, so need to follow up with him this morning.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Another Zero Spend Day ... excellent.

No issues to be had: made scrambled eggs for breakfast to take to work, took along leftover stuffed shells for lunch, worked out at the 5:30 class, came home, had a couple (yeah, 2) margaritas and went to bed.

Easy peasy. (and watched the freaky movie on ABC, The River).

Monday, February 6, 2012

Monday, February 6, 2012

Not quite sure how it happened, but the day started off with a drive thru BK.You would think after the 'pink slime' report on McDonald's, I'd be done with fast food. NOT. $4.76 for a mediocre sausage/egg on croissant with a side of tater tots (oh, wait, those are hash browns?) and a coke. Good grief. Not sure what makes me more upset, the $4.76 or the fact that I could have easily made this at home. WEAK MOMENT. I admit it, my hands freaking hurt and I'm feeling blah. Better find something quick to take care of that! I left the anti-inflammatory meds at home this morning. Not a good start.

Skipped the gym, tired, hands hurt, and I needed to just go home. Stopped at the store (fresh market) got a huge container (Costco size!) baby spinach for $4.99, gallon of milk $3.99 and some bananas for 69 cents a lb. Publix prices. Sweet. $11.70 total.

Stopped at pet store to get the cat flea stuff. $57. Good grief. Even with a $2 off coupon. Need to check out 800PetMeds.

Also, the final kicker for the day, booked a flight to see my dad next week. I need to SEE him. $183. Not so bad round trip for 5 days, you know? Will need to rent a car but that won't be much (Mark works for a major car rental company), and will probably stay with my father in law (ummm, I don't think I can pull off MY dad's house). So next week will be a challenge.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Saturday and Sunday, February 4th and 5th, 2012

Went and worked out Saturday at 9am. My girlfriend was going to meet me but backed out at the last minute as she's been fighting a sinus issue for weeks now. We had planned to go get coffee and bagels at this little place afterwards, and I'm glad it didn't work that way. Not excited about a $5 cup of coffee, that's all. The day ended being a Zero Spend Day again ... so I'm pretty happy about that.

We have a SmartTV ... Mark held out til the old one died and then we shopped for ever to get this one. So basically, the TV has wifi connection ... and I just finally got around to setting up the Pandora account on the TV this morning. So all day long been listening to Kid Rock Radio while cleaning house. I think I may have messed it up though as I was adding other artist to the play list and now it's giving me some pretty funky music. Black Eyed Peas, no problem, Rhianna? No thanks. And then it goes in to some pretty hokey country stuff. Good grief! Gonna have to delete the station and restart.

Then instead of going out for dinner, I did a mock Olive Garden night ... Garlic Tuscan Chicken, salad with OG dressing and bread sticks ... pretty damn proud of myself. Had to share the kitchen with Mark as he was making his stuffed shells to go with the pizzola meatballs for the game Sunday.

Sunday turned into a Zero Spend Day too (woohoo!) as I put off going to get the 'weed and feed' for the cat (flea medicine, it's a joke in the house) ... will have to get it this week on my way to work one morning (utilizing that save an extra trip mentality) We wanted to have a Super Bowl Party but opted not to as a) it will be a late night, b) I didn't want to go buy a bunch of stuff and ruin the $20 a week plan for February (cheap? perhaps, but still) and c) neither team is a team we really care much for so it would be hard to root and cheer. We will watch in the background (me for the commercials, Mark for the chat factor this week) ... but I'll probably be messing on the computer and Mark will be doing something else too ...

So there we are, a new week and I have $27 to shop with this week. Sweet. Glad I didn't go to Aldis Sunday like I wanted to ... not a necessity although I will have to stop and get spinach and milk and really, bagels or bread for the Girl on Monday (and the weed and feed, but that's not in the budget anywhere, should be).

Friday, February 3, 2012

Friday, February 3, 2012

It's Friday which always a HAPPY day for me for the most obvious reasons. It's also the former "swing by the store and see what looks yummy" day, but not any longer. Which I am perfectly fine with.

Doing my own nails is not all that difficult. I miss the pedicures though. Wondering if I can't slide that into the medical category since I only typically spend $10 for one script a month and then $25 every few months for a dr ... I've given myself $50 a month. I suppose I should leave that alone. BUT a pedicure could be considered medicinal since I have slight feet problems. Yeah, you see me trying to justify that? Anyways. I've got one nailpolish that just won't set right. Even with the topcoat. So last night, I sprayed Pam on them after I applied the polish, sat for 10 minutes then rinsed off with cold water. HA. It works. And it makes your cuticles feel softer. And the polish is uber shiny and smooth. (I say this the morning after!). And I always have Costco sized cans of Pam in the house. One more thing to add to the list ... excellent! Another plug to Rule #10.

I withdrew $100 and deposited it in the Boy's account so he can get his bus pass coming up. He will also have some money for food then. His girlfriends mom is driving up next week for a day so she can take a care package for me (protein bars, drinks, veggie chips and so on that I had picked up at Costco last time I was there) ... I will just send stuff that I already have on hand here ... keeping it simple but at least that will work for him.

I also stopped to make a $60 cash deposit into the NO TOUCH account. Hmmm. The debit card won't work. Said to call customer service. Apparently, if you don't use it for 6 months, it's deactivated. So had to go to branch during lunch hour and get a temporary one and make a deposit there. Busy place it was, Friday afternoon at 12:30? Not a good time to go.

After my excitement last night of The Fresh Market, I realized the mineolas were $1.30 EACH as I ate one. And unfortunately, I didn't think they were worth that much, so I probably will not be buying those from THERE again. I'll stick with the little clementines instead.

I got the electric for my father paid this month. $137. I set up automatic bill pay on the credit cards for the month. Of course, I need to add another $10 to the one as the minimum amount went up by $10. Good grief. Will pay the remaining float (whatever is left of the $400 budget) to the Macy's account at the end of the month. I had also transferred $560.xx to another savings account on the 1st ... this was money that was left in the account, so it was my 'sweep'. Of course, I still need to pay $700 for the AE bill and the car insurance is due on the 18th. So it probably will not stay there long. But at least I put SOMETHING in the No Touch account.

And then, I stopped by Ulta on the way home ... I wanted to look for this cuticle cream and some new polish (maybe) ... ended up getting cuticle remover, cuticle pushy thingy, buffer, another 2 buffers and an eyeshadow brush ... $30. Ack. Crumb. But that's ok, this will last me longer than a $25 manicure ... gotta think positive!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Uhhh...I had to break the streak ... but not too badly.  I stopped at The Fresh Market (it was KILLING me) ... all I was going to get was bananas.  I also got 2 mineolas, 1 navel, a Meyers lemon (lemon drops??), and 2 small containers (less than 1 lb total) of olives for Mark.  Total spent: $12.67. I used the debit card. So I broke the $20 and pulled $7 from my savings envelope and put the $20 in the savings envelope. Tomorrow, I deposit $60 to the NO TOUCH savings.

I may be booking another flight to Indiana ... my dad had another TIA but at least he was at the hospital when this one happened. Good grief. So they took him off the PT floor to the Stroke floor and I told Mark I probably need to be booking a trip soon. Freaking my brother out though for whatever reason.

So here we are, $7 left for groceries, nothing urgent really needed and I feel 'good'.

Tuesday and Wednesday, January 31st and February 1st, 2012

Tuesday - Zero Spend Day ... DAY SEVEN! That was a good feeling last night to be in for the night and be able to say that!

Wednesday was ALSO a Zero Spend Day, EIGHT DAYS!!

The Fresh Market opened Wednesday in downtown Fort Lauderdale. Like, I will drive by it every morning IF I don't take the scenic route. Um, like I need to take the scenic route :) I really want to go but I'm holding out only because I know I'll BUY something. Yikes.

I did a DIY lip wax earlier this week. If you want to know (and SEE the results, click over to the other blog). That's pretty impressive that it works AND that it didn't hurt all that bad, not to mention, easy to do. Yes. I saved myself $10. Woohoo. Next up are the eye brows, not so sure how THAT will go.

Mark took me out for dinner Wednesday to the japanese buffet. He paid. So no money out of MY pocket. Hence, it was still a zero spend day. I've had this same $20 in my walled for 9 days now. Wow. It feels good and there isn't anything that I need. I really wanted to get some sparkling water that was on sale but the sale is over, and I'm not dying yet, so it goes to show, missing good deals are not the end of the world.

Need to move the remaining funds from checking to savings (about $500) and start setting up bill pay for those bills that are coming in. After a bleak January, I'm aiming HIGH for February. Need to also get the modified budget up for review.