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Archive for February, 2012

Bills are done for next month...

February 29th, 2012 at 10:39 am

That didn't take long. I woke up and checked my checking account online, my paycheck was deposited. The withdrawal to savings is already "pending", and all of my bills are already scheduled to be paid out. Even our monthly dance lessons, which used to be payable by cash or check only, finally got credit card capabilities, so now I can charge that on my monthly spending credit card. It's nice not to have checks to write out or wait to clear.

Savings will be slow for March and April, as I have to divert that money to the credit card to cover my tuition I charged in January and the cruise deposit. I will still make my $10,000 goal by June, though. Especially if I get reimbursed for my class. I'm on the waiting list for employee tuition reimbursement, so if it happens, bonus. I don't want to count on it, though.

My brother gets married in 3 months. My mom asked if I could help her set up a bridal shower of some sort, but I think that the bride's friends have set up parties already. How many parties can the same friends attend? We have a very, very small family, so a family-only shower really isn't a great option either. I am thinking of inviting my parents, the happy couple, and maybe the bridesmaid/groomsman to a brunch out in town...drinks, entertainment, and some time together to celebrate the happy couple before the big day. What do you think? Any suggestions? They are both in their 30s (35 and 37) and have been on their own for a while so I don't think that the traditional shower them with gifts party is as appealing...

Closing out February

February 28th, 2012 at 10:26 am

So we are wrapping up a busy month...

I turned in the change we have been saving since last summer, total of $102 to add to the cruise fund. Plus another $5 rebate. I will most likey pay for the actual cruise out of savings, and use this money from rebates and change as money for excursions and onboard expenses- those can easily cost more than the cruise.

Work is finally settling down. We are getting our additional assistant. A couple "high needs" kids have been absent for the last few days, so I've been able to get a ton of work done with the rest of the class and clear off my desk a bit.

I'm halfway through my online class, yay! I will be done right before Spring Break.

I applied to teach summer school. It is only 3 hours a day, 4 days a week. Just enough structure to keep me on a decent sleep schedule, I do best with a "little" structure. Of course, there may not be summer school this year, with the budget in complete upheaval.

Big plans for Sunday

February 26th, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Yep, schoolwork, running, and lesson planning. I might even throw in some sheet washing! I don't mind, really, because it feels so good afterwards, when it is all over and done with. If I do X,Y,and Z, I get relief from that nagging feeling that sits over me, telling me I have responsibilities to deal with. So would all of that work be considered Negative Reinforcement because it decreases the aversive mental discomfort of not doing what I'm supposed to be doing? I will have to verify with my instructor on Wednesday at our meeting!

Yesterday we did the meal planning and grocery shopping. We stayed right at our $80 budget. We also met up with some friends at Target and out for dessert. Our Saturday nights just get wilder and wilder as we get older!

The great news at work is... I'm getting an additional assistant, again! They gave me the additional assistant in October, then took her away in January to use in a bigger class, but our need for additional assistance didn't go away. Finally we are getting the additional assistance again. This is great news for the students and for my assistant and me! We can teach again!

Financial housekeeping

February 24th, 2012 at 11:04 am

I got up early again and was able to update my finances. My family cruise account had a little bit more in it than I thought, so I updated the balance on my sidebar. I guess I overlooked a refund deposit somewhere.

I set up payments for my credit cards that I use monthly instead of my debit card.

I also transferred some cash into my ShareBuilder account.

EXH paid for the braces, so I can schedule that for DD.

Yesterday I completed a lot of stuff. I ran 2 miles on the treadmill before waking up the girls. I had a very "big deal" meeting at work, whew! I completed some paperwork that was neglected. Lesson plans for today were fine tuned. I also coached at the afterschool program for an hour and a half. Then I went to a doctor's appointment. I'm glad I had an evening appointment (5:30!), but I didn't leave the place till after 7:00! After picking up my DDs from their dad's, they just barely had time to eat something I grabbed on the way home and complete homework. I was cranky and tired last night to say the least. Fortunately, most days are not like this. Usually once I leave work I pick up the girls from my parents' house and head for home, and we don't leave the house again till morning.

It's FRIDAY! I'm looking forward to an evening at home with my kiddos and SO. We have groceries in the house to choose from, and I have plenty of classwork to keep me occupied this weekend!

A busy day

February 22nd, 2012 at 02:03 am

I knew today was going to be tough, as I started the day with two back-to-back important meetings. But I'm so glad to have them finished, a little weight has been lifted from my chest! I worked through lunch, but it was worth it because I started to clear the mountain of paperwork off of my desk. From now on I will just pack a fruit or cheese/yogurt for lunch and use lunch time for planning.

Today I started helping in a new afterschool fitness program, it will be every Tue and Thu. I will still get home at my regular time, I just usually do paperwork or workout after I'm off the clock and still at school. It was so refreshing to be around these kids, I enjoyed it.

After dinner I spent 1.5 hours on my online class, doing homework and studying. I feel better now, like I can make it through this class! I found a free website called studyblue.com where I can quickly write up flash cards, save them in a digital backpack, and review them in different formats when I want to. I showed it to my oldest daughter today and had her create her Spanish flash cards. No more index cards and cramped fingers from writing!

I didn't get to work out today, but I couldn't exactly fit everything in. My workouts are pretty flexible anyway. I go by the total month- I aim for 8 workouts or more per month (anything besides running), and also run 25 miles per month. This gives me some leeway in my schedule- if I am going out of town one weekend, I just up my miles another weekend to make up for it. Or if I have a really busy week at school (like this one), I can just find an extra chance to workout later on in the month. Some people feel better knowing that they do Workout #1 on Monday-Wednesday-Friday and Workout #2 on Tuesday-Thursday, and need to stick with that consistent schedule. I'm just not like that. I get my workouts in when and where I can!

Oh, almost forgot- I have a $7.00 refund to add to the family cruise fund, so new total will be $526!

Feeling overwhelmed

February 21st, 2012 at 01:24 am

I had the day off, and spent nearly all of it in front of the computer. I was catching up from my online class for nearly 5 hours, ugh. I can't seem to get ahead with this class. I am managing to get all of the work done by the deadline, but the past couple weeks that is all I have managed. I haven't been able to study before the test deadline, and my grades are slowly going down. My day: started with an hour and a half of paperwork that is due at a meeting tomorrow. Then I switched to my classwork. During a mid day "break" I ran 3 miles, showered, and got back on the computer for more schoolwork. Then I had dinner (which SO prepared) and took my girls to dance class. While they danced I did lesson planning on my lap top for work. Now we are back home and I'm trying to pump myself up for another hour or so of studying, but it's all starting to sound like gibberish. I think I will take the rest of the night off... I can't give up now (I'm halfway through it!), but this is so much tougher than I thought it would be. I just want to pass this class!!! Ok, end of whine!

Tomorrow I will head to the bank to cash a check at the ATM on my way to school. After the check clears I can transfer money over to savings and my credit cards (I use them throughout the month to earn points). Then I should be all up to date on bill paying chores.

Time for some sleep, think I've earned it. I'm glad I got caught up on homework and work, some things you just have to push on through. I've discovered (the hard way) that you can't just bury your head in the sand and make things go away!

A refund to add, and so on...

February 18th, 2012 at 09:00 pm

One of my $20 refund checks came in the mail today, so my cruise account is up to $519.

Braces will be in the future. "Phase 1" can start soon, and then "Phase 2" will commence when more of her permanent teeth are in. Gotta talk to exh to decide how we want to pay for it all. The orthodontist does allow no interest, monthly payments, so I'm assuming we'll take advantage of that.

I ran 3 miles this morning, enjoyed the couples' massage, and after lunch out...broke into another box of Girl Scout cookies. Dang it! I need to give them away! At least I've got my sugar fix for the day. We are attending a baby shower tonight, and it's going to be more like a wedding reception. There's a band, open bar, and of course food. I want to enjoy myself at the party, but not feel like I have to roll myself out of there!

Enough of the Valentine sweets!

February 17th, 2012 at 10:41 am

Ugh! The candy I can sort of avoid.But the brownies and cookies, these are things I love! And once I start on them, it's so hard to stop! I can't just throw them away... that's the frugalist in me. So last night the brownies were finished by the family for dessert (I of course did my share!), and umm, I finished off the open box of Girl Scout cookies reading last night. The rest of the Girl Scout cookies are unopened, so I am good for a while. Today I aim to get that sugar out of my system, get back into running my miles, and get back to where I was before Valentines.

Today should be fun at school. We have a short community outing in the morning, and cooking in the afternoon.

I also leave early to take one of my girls to see the orthodontist, to see if braces are in the near future...ka-ching!

I will most likely be taking work home this long weekend, I have several important documents due next week, and one of them is not started yet. Plus I want to get 4 days worth of planning completed, so I get ahead a bit. My planning time is a joke this year, so unfortunately planning suffers.

Besides school work, I have my "own" school work to do this weekend as well. Lots of videos to download, and a test to complete by Monday. I really think that this will be my last class for a while, the time factor and mental toll is pretty high. School is always on my mind, because stuff is always due or always needs to be reviewed. I am learning a lot from this class, but I need to get that balance back between real life and college courses. The payoff isn't high enough for me right now.

Bills taken care of already

February 15th, 2012 at 11:12 am

I woke up this morning and verified how much I got paid. I went ahead and paid all of my bills online, and updated my budget (an Excel spreadsheet). The rest of my bills are taken out of my account automatically, so I'm done till next paycheck. My only financial duty for the next couple weeks will be to keep my spending within the budgeted amount. It will be a busy next few weeks, so I don't anticipate too much shopping and spending.

Last night after dinner we exchanged Valentines. I got each of my girls a bouquet of fake flowers (they have so much fun with these, with their imaginations!), and a toy from 5 Below. They were happy. SO got a new pair of pajamas. I made cheesecake for dessert, which the whole family was looking forward to. SO booked a couples massage for the two of us for Saturday, I can't wait! The rest of my week will be full speed ahead at work, at home, and with my class, so I can really use a massage Saturday. It was a very thoughtful gift.

Work is still shadowed with concerns, I don't know how to describe it. When I think of it right now it's like a dark cloud passes through my head, if that makes any sense. It's not the kids, not at all. They can all make progress, but I need the support to help them. But I'm working through all of this, and I'll make decisions for next year.

Pajama day!

February 13th, 2012 at 10:45 am

After a busy Saturday, spent running errands, baking, and entertaining, I enjoyed a lazy, no spend Sunday. The girls and I spent the entire day in our pajamas. We did some cooking for the week, I helped organize the girls' bedroom, and I finished my homework for the week. Now all I have left to do is the test by Tue afternoon. I plan to do the test tonight after dance class, before I get to bed, I didn't wake up early enough this morning to do it.

On Sunday I also spent over an hour in front of the fireplace, reading for fun. This is one of my favorite things to do. And it's free!

I've got a lot of work ahead of me today, but that's ok. This will be the week I clear a lot of stuff off of my desk. Mentally I can clear some of the "clutter" related to work after this week.

I will update my bills again on Wednesday after I get paid, should be able to throw some more in savings. I think I will start throwing a bit more in there to round it to a nice, even number each month. Every little bit helps, I guess!

Cruise fund update

February 10th, 2012 at 10:33 am

Today $44 in rebate checks came in, woo hoo! New cruise total is $543. I've got the first $500 down, gotta get creative on earning the rest. I could just put a little money in the account each paycheck, like a bill, but where's the fun in that?! We are saving up our change, so that is sitting there waiting to be cashed in. I'm also saving up my rewards cash from credit cards. I'll add all of that in to the account when the time gets closer.

I enjoyed a wonderful night of sleep finally. I don't know the last time I was able to sleep without any cold medicine, Tylenol, sleep pills, etc. I'm starting to feel better.

TGIF, everyone!

Updating balances

February 9th, 2012 at 01:13 am

I am adding $12 to the cruise fund from rebate checks received in the mail today. New total: $499!

I also received my tax refunds today, I wasn't expecting them for another week, that was good news. Though they are going to savings for now, some of it may go back to ex, gotta see for sure when he does his taxes.

Today was a challenge. My body was either in defense or reaction mode all day. It was exhausting. Even my muscles are sore, like I've been boxing. I need to sleep well and start out fresh in the morning, I have no choice.

Fortunately, my own children are a respite for me after an awful day. I've really enjoyed their company. xoxo

Mimosa on a cloudy day

February 5th, 2012 at 11:40 pm

Today was chilly and gloomy. Fortunately, my friends and I had 'Drag' your friends to Brunch tickets. It is brunch with entertainment, 'nuff said! Nothing like a mimosa on a gloomy day and laughing with friends to lift your spirits. Money well spent.

I picked up the girls later in the afternoon. I helped them with cooking cupcakes and a school project, so it was fun stuff. Now we are doing our Sunday night stuff, prepping for the upcoming week.

Before brunch I did a lot of studying. I took test #2, and scored a 91. I'm happy with that grade, it was a really tough unit. I will have to do a bit more studying after I get done with my update, in order to stay on top of my lessons. Luckily this is only a 10 week class, 3 weeks down!

Early this morning I also updated my bills while SO did the cooking for the week (well, a good portion of the cooking for the week). I save the budgeting for the weekend when I have more time to compare balances, schedule payments, and other financial tasks I don't want to rush on during the week.

The only thing I didn't get to today was running, I usually do my running on the weekends. I'll still get my miles in for the month. I will just have to really stay on top of it now that school is taking such a great deal of my free time. But it's ok, I met school deadlines and I had some fun today, too. There are only so many hours in a day!

A little more cash to add

February 4th, 2012 at 02:53 am

I received a $5 rebate yesterday, so new cruise total is $487. I never got around to checking the mail today.

Taxes have been completed and accepted, anticipated refund arrival date Feb. 14.

I have a short training tomorrow morning, then I head back home to continue my Saturday. I plan to do a bit more studying then take my 2nd test. Then pick up a few art supplies for my girls, grocery shop, a pretty simple Saturday. I'm glad for that, actually.