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Time for some better habits

July 30th, 2013 at 05:56 am

July has been the month of Mayhem, understandably so. A family vacation in the beginning of the month, temporary childcare gig for 3 weeks, a birthday party, and weekend commutes to pack. It is almost over! I am not complaining much, though, it was all by choice and for good reason.

August 1 we start the lease on the new house, though we don't get the majority of our household goods until next Tuesday. I am so excited to move in, I want to be settled again.

Priority #1 for August: get kids registered, supplies purchased, and school routine laid out. My kids like structure and I want to provide this for them so that they can get comfortable in the new town asap.

Priority #2 for August: get prepared for school myself: take all the trainings that I can, get all of my paperwork together, be on top of things. I have been using my phone to take notes and it's handy, but I miss my little calendar where I can jot things down and easily thumb through my schedule, I might go back to that again...

Priority #3 for August: get back to active and healthy. I haven't had my exercise habit for about a month and I feel it, I need to develop a new exercise habit again. I'm thinking I can't get on the computer until the exercise is complete and out of the way...

TGIF (long) update

July 26th, 2013 at 05:15 am

I met my savings goal for May-Aug ahead of schedule, mostly because of the unexpected summer job and selling things that aren't going with me on the move. I have to adjust my savings goals for the remainder of the years to reflect the salary increase- means my savings should increase, not just my spending!

I haven't been very consistent with my exercise, my schedule has been off for the entire month of July. With vacation, temporarily staying with SO during the week to take the nanny job, driving back home on the weekends to tie things up, I'm feeling very out of routine. Of course, that's just another excuse, I could always find time to exercise whether part of a routine or not!

Trainings for the new school district are set up, so August will be pretty full. At least we will be in the new house then. Next week I will be at home taking care of doctor appointments, gathering documents (SO mistakenly packed them all up, ugh!), and meeting up with friends one last time before the move. The kids will be with their dad for the month since he is off most of the month.

This year the focus will be getting my kids situated in school, school for me, and staying active. Recently I had the opportunity to work part time making very good money, to gain the required supervision for my additional professional certification. But I turned it down, because honestly I think the additional 15 hours a week will just be too much for me at this point. I don't want to be pulled in so many directions that I can't succeed at anything. And most importantly I want the kids to be well adjusted to their new home, which would be a lot easier if I was home after school and not at another job until bedtime.

So it means that my goal of the professional certification will be put on hold for the time being. I will need to find a supervisor within the school system somehow, work in the field full time to get supervision on the job, or wait until my kids are older and I can get the supervision part-time. This was tough for me to decide, because I can make a whole lot more money in this field, but right now my family needs the time more than money. And there will be other work opportunities in the future, especially in this new location.

UPromise pay out

July 24th, 2013 at 04:06 am

I'm not sure if many of you are involved with UPromise... I had signed up when it first started, about the time my oldest DD was born. Although at first I kept up with trying to get the rewards for everyday purchases, eventually I just got busy with other things and couldn't keep up with the participation companies, which cards to use, etc.

Now, ten years later, after getting an email from them I call them up and ask for help with my account, as I have long forgotten username and password. It turns out I had $128 credit with them, which I requested to be given to me in the form of a check. It arrived yesterday!

No, not the college assistance it was touted to be, but in all fairness I only really participated the first couple years. The $128 was a nice surprise, though, because I had forgotten all about it.

You may want to look into past programs such as UPromise and see if you have any credit remaining, I just assumed it would have expired, but was pleasantly surprised. I'll split this money between my DDs savings.

The hard work is paying off

July 23rd, 2013 at 04:00 pm

I was fortunate to receive an offer from the place that I wanted to work at. I have had 7 interview requests from different schools in this district. That makes me feel good because I finally feel like I am at a place where I have some experience and training to back me up. The classes that I have been taking and the experience I have been getting in the classroom is starting to pay off.

I will receive a 32% salary increase from my last teaching contract, super excited about that! Cost of living is higher out here, but SO's cost of living increase will cover the higher housing costs, the only significant price difference that I really notice. The plan is to roll the raise into the taxable investment account for now.

I am simultaneously continuing to work on my professional certificate, this is one of the reasons that I have been sought out for these jobs. It is the edge that many other teachers do not have. I'm not saying that to boast, but to just point out that those extra steps CAN help you in the long run. Developing interests within your career, getting extra training, taking on additional duties, these types of things will bring positive results eventually.

Not to say that I am guaranteed whatever I want in my career, but I do know that if I work hard with good intentions and a positive attitude, positive things are going to come my way. The whole law of attraction thing.

Anyway, enough of my rambling. I am thankful for the pay raise, thankful for the great job opportunity, and I will make this a good move for my family.

Quick weekend round up

July 21st, 2013 at 03:29 am

I was paid $450 for the babysitting this week, I'm glad the parents pay weekly, that keeps me motivated!
This money goes into my savings account for now. I'm putting moving expenses on my rewards credit card so I will pay that off with savings when everything has cleared.

We sold our washer/dryer on Craigslist for $300 within an hour (pricing is everything on CL!). We used some of that money to pay cash for the food and drinks for DD's 14th birthday party. After eating we all went to the pool down the block. Everyone had a fantastic time, I loved watching DD with her friends. They hadn't seen each other since the end of the school year and they were all giggles and nonstop chatter, it reminded me so much of my BFFs and me when we were that age! I'm really praying for my girls to find good friends in our new neighborhood. Good friends just make life so much sweeter!

The credit card bill is really high, since I put all vacation expenses on it and now moving expenses. I will still be able to pay it off by the due date, I think, I'm just waiting for all of the checks to clear and all of the "holds" to be released from online accounts.

All in all, I'm optimistic about the upcoming year. I haven't heard from HR as to my official salary, just looked it up online, but from what I found it is much higher than I'm making now. After taking into consideration the cost of living increase, I should still be able to bank most of the difference between my old salary and my new salary. Plus what I was saving on my old salary. I just can't get sucked into the trappings of having extra money, namely getting used to spending all of the new salary.

I know that looking at my long term goal will help me stay focused on keeping the saving and investing up. We will probably be in our new location for 4 years, and then we can look to something else. At that point we want to have a lot of cash set aside so that we have more choices, since we might be looking at military retirement. That means we may be able to move where we want to, and pick a house we really imagine ourselves living in for a while. Or it might mean more travel jobs. But we want to have choices.

In the meantime, I know we won't be miserable living a simpler life, it can be quite enjoyable!

So they think I'm poor!

July 17th, 2013 at 04:52 pm

I'm a temporary nanny for a few weeks for a family out here. The family has plenty of money and likes to show it- consumerism at it's finest.

Anyway, I was driving the kids to run some errands today, and the oldest, at 11 years old, asks if I "like" my 2008 Kia. I kind of shrug and tell her, yes, it's in good shape and runs really well, and we can fit lots of stuff in it. Then she asks if I plan to buy a newer, nicer car "after getting settled" at my new job and house.

I was surprised by the question, and told her it wasn't important to me to get a new car, unless I needed one by then.

Later on she asked about the new place we are renting in a few weeks. She asked if we were going to move out of the townhome to a bigger home in the future!

(It's actually a single family home we are renting, it just isn't 4,000sqft like her home. It has a nice yard, super close to work and is in a very good school district.)

She asked about all of this stuff nicely, but it was almost like she felt bad for us for having to "make do" with a Kia and a smaller home.

Her dad is really snobbish, so I'm sure she's heard some adult conversations on my choice of car or home. It just goes to show how adults can shape a child's attitude about money. And how money can't buy manners!

I have strengthened my vow not to complain about money to my girls. They know that I am furthering my education so that I can be better at my job and make more money, but I reassure them that we don't "need" more money. It's nice to have but in no way makes us better than anyone else. I don't want them being materialistic and always wanting "more", never being happy with what you have.

Quick update

July 15th, 2013 at 04:25 am

This summer has been a whirlwind. I spent a week in the Midwest visiting my family that I haven't seen in 10 years. It was a nice trip, but felt very long!

You may recall SO received orders to DC area in the Spring, and the kids and I were not able to go along initially because their dad wasn't on board. It turns out that his job is up in that area so he approved of our move out there, since he can see the girls just as easily up there as anywhere. Basically, he works up there and can live anywhere, as long as he returns to duty on his scheduled days. So he has flexibility.

The move means SO, the girls and I all can live under one roof again, saving the expense of 2 households. It also means I am able to accept the higher paying job, and get the experience I need for the next phase of my professional goals. I'll have more financial details later this week.

Right now I'm the temporary nanny for a family out here, and we drive home on the weekends to pack. The movers pick up our household goods on Aug 1. We will be ready!

I have birthday parties planned for both of my girls that everyone is excited about, and lots to look forward to. So lots of changes and stress, but also fun things to look forward to and be thankful for.

Class #3 is complete!

July 2nd, 2013 at 02:34 am

Whew! Glad to have that over with! I earned the Basic Series professional development certificate, which is 3 classes. I can continue to earn the Advanced Series, that is 5 classes. But I'm going to take a breather this next session. All these classes count towards professional certification, but I still have a ways to go before I earn that. I need to get supervision hours. This may be the year that I start my supervision, to get the ball rolling.

We have rented a house in the DC area. It is within our budget, a great yard, great family neighborhood, excellent schools, and the girls can each have their own rooms. It is within walking distance to transit station, so on the weekends we can avoid the traffic. Their dad works out there so the girls will be able to spend time with dad when he's not on a work trip.

The Skype interview went really well last week, the school wants me to come see the classrooms with summer school in session so that I can decide if I want the job! Summer school starts up next week for them, so I will visit on Friday. As soon as it is official I will notify my current school. I already talked to HR, I just need to fill out resignation paperwork since the new school year hasn't started.

We will be moving out there even if this one position doesn't work out. I also have an interview with another school scheduled for next week. And if that doesn't work out I will look for private companies that work with children with special needs. One of the great things about this area is that there are tons of professional opportunities, I should easily be able to find a supervisor to start my professional hours.

This move happened rather suddenly. SO has been out there since March, and now finally the stars have aligned and we are able to move out there as well. That of course changes all the other plans we had placed, but this is what we have ultimately hoped for, to be together as a family again. The commuting on the weekends for 4 years would get old.

Summer plans are set

June 18th, 2013 at 06:41 pm

I have firmed up plans for the summer job. I will earn about $1170 for 13 days of work. Work that is basically caring and entertaining a couple of girls, along with my own kids. No errands or cleaning, just taking them places to have fun, keeping them happy while the parents are at work. I think I can manage that, especially since I would need to do that for my own children, anyway!

I don't have plans for the extra summer money, I imagine I will put it in savings for now. When I build up my savings to $5000 I transfer it to my taxable investment account and start again. This will help me reach my goal more quickly. Which is great because savings has been very slow lately.

I have two more weeks of class, then I am done with class #3.

I have an important meeting tomorrow via Skype. I don't want to jinx myself by talking about it here, but I will update all when I get more news. It will mean changes at work and home but also great career advancement and a nice salary increase. Change is not always comfortable, but it is the only way to grow.

My summer starts right...now!

June 14th, 2013 at 03:56 pm

After a grueling week of packing at school, I was able to check out for the summer. I am sore, feels like I have a stomach bug, and I can barely keep myself awake for my girls' sleep over. But I made it, and I'm hopeful that after a restful night of sleep I will feel better.

I have $78 dollars left over from last payday, so I will transfer that over to savings this weekend.

I may have a short 3 week job in DC this summer, as a nanny to a family while the regular nanny is on vacation. I can bring my girls with me during the day, and the kids are the same ages as my kids. So I would be getting paid to entertain the kids all day. Obviously I've simplified it but still, a great way to earn some good extra cash for a few weeks. Plus I will be in DC, spending time with SO. I'll see how that pans out soon.

4 days to go...

June 11th, 2013 at 02:59 am

then a much needed break! The first week of break will be spent at home, as we have a variety of appointments and errands. Also an end of the school year party we are hosting, a sleep over, and a dance recital. Then we leave to spend a week in DC with SO, before flying out to the midwest for a week over Independence Day weekend. Finally back home for some downtime around the 9th of July. I'm excited about it all, I'm ready for some fun with my family.

I only have a few more weeks left of class #3. I need to think about when to register for class #4. It is only going to be offered a few more times so I don't have too much choice in the matter. But I don't want to overwhelm myself, it does take a lot of free time, and in early fall free time is very limited. I'll look into that this weekend. Not to mention that it costs me $890, that I pay out of pocket.

I should be back to saving a decent amount each month, as I finally have some sort of budget for expenses in the house by myself. I won't be able to save as much as I did when SO lived here full time, but that is just how things have to be for now. I'm grateful we can keep the house and manage 2 households comfortably.

As a side note, my plants are doing well. The hostas have just exploded, those babies have been coming back for 3 years now. I planted some annuals that are growing and look healthy. I also planted an azalea bush last weekend, and it looks like it is surviving. So my yard may not look like Better Homes and Garden, but at least it looks like we care, and most of the plants are alive! Baby steps, right?!

Firming up summer plans

June 9th, 2013 at 04:14 am

I am long overdue for a visit to extended family in the midwest. Mostly due to my divorce and change of lifestyle, as I hadn't revealed any of this to the family at the time, I wanted to spare my mother the backlash. Now my extended family knows about me and my life, and I would like my daughters to see a bit more of that side of the family. I priced tickets and a rental car, we may be able to get out there for about $1500. This will slow down my savings, but perhaps I can make it up elsewhere throughout the year.

Besides this trip to the midwest, we will also go to Hershey, PA for a long weekend. It is only a few hours from SO's DC home, so we are planning a trip up there in early August.

There has been so much anxiety about the move and jobs and schools for the past several months, now that these concerns have been taken care of I am ready to have some fun with my family!

Things are starting to settle down

May 29th, 2013 at 02:42 am

After weeks of debate and research about where to live/school districts/etc, SO and I decided to keep the house. She will pay half of the house expenses,(on top of the DC housing expenses for herself) so that I can comfortably stay in the house and still be able to save money each month. It's a beautiful house, so this way the kids can stay in a safe, quiet neighborhood that they know and they can continue with their schools as usual. SO passed her promotion exam after nearly a year of studying each and every day, so the extra income couldn't have come at a better time!

Knowing that the housing situation is covered is a huge relief. Also, SO won't have to lose money on a home sale, as the house is still underwater, though slowly going up in value again.

I'm about halfway done with class #3, I can do this, I can do this.

Preparing for next year

May 6th, 2013 at 02:26 am

A former principal contacted me and asked me to come over to her school next year... I accepted! I'm excited about this new opportunity. She mentioned that my department really needs to get brought up to current practices, and she was very excited about teh skills that I am bringing. It's a nice feeling when someone requests you due to your performance at work, feels good that someone notices.

So not only do I have a new school to look forward to, but I also am looking for a new house. SO will be in DC for the next 4-5 years, and I will be in this area because the kids' father is here. He may be gone a lot for work trips, but this is his home base and I do want the kids close by so they can all be together when he is not working. SO is selling her house and I will find a new one that is more affordable for me in our preferred school district. I am in the process of gathering financial paperwork for the lender.

I am also done with week #3 of my online class. I was "this" close to dropping it and losing my tuition, but then I just went through the "motions" of school work. Before I knew it, I was fully engaged in the work that needed to be done, and by the time my live class was scheduled to begin, I was up to speed. Sometimes I need to just push through the really tough parts, and it isn't nearly as bad as I anticipate.

Today will be a busy Monday, I am sure. I have a few more IEPs to write before the end of the month and some advanced planning to do so I don't feel so rushed. Plenty to keep me busy. Then after work I can think about all of the other things going on in my life!

Must hide all the chocolate

April 21st, 2013 at 04:32 am

I am on a sweets kick, ugh. Litte DD wanted to bake some brownies, but I seem to be the one eating them! I also picked up some fudge "for the girls" yesterday from a local shop. Usually I don't even bring that sort of stuff home. I do so much better when the stuff isn't even in the house.

Besides that, I've had a productive weekend. Doggie developed conjunctivitis so an unexpected vet visit and medication cost $82. That took up much of my extra money for the pay period, so there is no $25 for plants. Instead little DD and I bought some colorful annuals for under $5.00. At least they will brighten up the yard. I will pick up some annuals next pay period with my spending cash. I did plant some hostas a few years ago that came back last year, not sure if they will return this year. I didn't realize I had to move them in the winter, oops.

I have a couple different options for work/home next year. I'm ready for a decision to be made, the uncertainty is irritating.

On the list for today: run 3-4 miles, watch videos for my class, meet with instructor online, prep for work week ahead. I may not have to leave the house at all, unless I want to do my run outdoors.

Class #3 has started, time for flowers

April 17th, 2013 at 02:56 am

I finished the orientation and saved all of the first unit's materials to print today. Looks like my weekends will once again be filled with online videos and studying! Not looking forward to that part AT ALL, but the information will be super useful to me at work and will help my career. Must remember that.

I'm thinking ahead to the weekend. Besides homework, I want to take a break long enough to go to the local nursery and pick out some plants to freshen up our front yard. I will set aside maybe $25 to do this, so I need to pick carefully. Besides an azalea bush, I'd like some annuals (those are the ones that come back each year, right?) that are successful in full sunlight. Any suggestions?

Restful Spring Break!

April 6th, 2013 at 04:41 pm

Sunday will be my last day off before returning to school from break. I will be energized, though, and ready to wrap up the year soon. I have lots of paperwork deadlines coming up from now until school is out, so I know that the rest of the year will go fast.

We spent 4 days in DC with SO. Although chilly, the weather was mostly pleasant. I got to take my girls to a few local parks and hike, lots of fun! We also went to see the cherry trees and visited the National Harbor. It feels good to be back home, though, and we are all looking forward to tomorrow so that we can rest and prepare for the school week.

I did not do very well with my spending this paycheck. My 13 year old has been going through a growth spurt, and all of a sudden she can fit into ladies sizes, where's my little girl?! Frown So I picked her up several new outfits that she can mix and match and they should suffice for the spring. I also picked up the 9 year old some clothes that were on sale. Shoes for both of them.

I didn't find anything for myself, though I could really use some Springy clothes. Although I want to wear some professional classy clothes, most of my time is spent hands on with the kids on my feet all day and I need to find clothes that reflect that as well. I get overwhelmed and then I don't buy anything.

I went ahead and transferred some money out of short term savings to cover the spring clothes (that sort of thing is what it is supposed to be used for, anyway). I will "live" the rest of the week with money for groceries and gas and that is about it. I spent my extra spending money on Spring Break.

Found a renter!

March 31st, 2013 at 05:01 am

I have the security deposit in hand and the lease is signed. A single guy in his 30's, works as a civilian at one of the nearby bases. He has been at his current place for 2 years with no issues, but likes that my place is on the beach and has a washer/dryer and dishwasher Smile I feel confident that this will work out for both of us.

SO has been home for the past several days as her new assignment gave her some transitioning leave. She goes back Monday evening. The girls and I will drive up Thursday to spend some of our break up there with her. We plan on driving into DC for the Cherry Blossom Festival, we are all excited about that.

Nothing much saved this month as I had the condo vacant and I diverted some savings to cover that. I will be back on track for next month.

Happy Easter and may everyone have a peaceful, warm day!

Objective: find a renter

March 26th, 2013 at 02:20 am

I've been a little slack on my condo lately. I haven't been trying too hard to find a new tenant, and I need to get on it. That will be my goal for Spring Break, to get a tenant. My last guy moved out in the beginning of March.

I've had several calls for the place, but I've noticed a pattern. People are really concerned about the security deposit! I've never had anyone blink an eye at it in the past. It is pretty common to expect one month's rent for security deposit, isn't it? Yet lately when people call and ask about the deposit, that seems to be the deal breaker. Can it really be that people don't have one month's rent in reserve somewhere? I don't want to lower the deposit amount, because that money is there for security for taking them on as a tenant, in case of damage or failure to pay. My take is that if the potential tenant has trouble scraping together enough money for a month of rent and a security deposit, they probably aren't going to be dream tenants who pay timely.

I spend so much time in the kitchen!

March 25th, 2013 at 02:57 am

Last night I stopped to think about how much time I spend in the kitchen- it's a long time! Now that it is just the kids and me I make simple meals, because as the only adult in the house I don't have the time to make really complex things. But even with simple pasta and vegetables, after prepping, cleaning from dinner, packing lunches, prepping for the next night's dinner, and prepping for breakfast, it's a lot of time spent in the kitchen!

On the weekends I probably spend even more time in the kitchen because that is when I would take more time to cook bigger meals, or a pot of soup for lunches for the week, or a bread, etc.

I'm not complaining, I like to eat and I like to eat healthy foods so you do what you gotta do. I just need to be vigilant about scheduling enough time for cooking and food prepping. I'm glad I like my kitchen!

New laptop in the future...

March 21st, 2013 at 02:51 am

I think the time is coming. This one is over 5 years old and is starting to really have issues. I also need to look into purchasing a portable hard drive to use between home and work. I've used a thumb drive in the past, but I think I should start saving all of my work on the hard drive. I will need to educate myself on all of this before I take another step.

I need to fill up on gas this morning, as I'm driving to DC tomorrow after work. SO is moving this weekend Frown. I will be up there this weekend to help her move, and then she will come down next weekend for the long Easter weekend. We have our commuting schedule laid out for the next few months.

My next class starts April 1, during Spring Break. At least I should be able to easily find the time for studying that week. It is a 10 week class, it will take me to the summer. I'm paying for that class on a 0% interest credit card, each pay check I pay $100 towards it, so the class should be paid off as part of my budget without having to take out of savings. Just in time for the next class~!

Very March-ish weekend

March 18th, 2013 at 02:30 am

Sunday was sooo chilly and overcast, I just wanted to huddle in my sitting room with a blanket. Which I did, for a few hours. After a nap I got up and did some leisurely chores.

Since the girls were with their dad I took advantage of the time alone and did my Easter shopping. I picked up a couple bags of candy, which I will also use for my students. I spent about $8 per person for additional basket fillers. I picked up little useful things that I thought they would enjoy.

I did some organizing of the kids' bathroom yesterday. I painted it last month and I've been redecorating the room as I find things that would fit. It's looking very cute in there!

Saturday was a whole different story. Although it rained initially it ended up being a beautiful day, where we didn't even need a jacket. I brought DD to the oceanfront for a charity 1 mile Shamrock run, and it was so much fun. A great day to enjoy a run at the beach!

Saturday night we had leftovers for dinner and then met up with friends at a bar we hadn't been to before. We spent $22 on drinks, still cheaper than a dinner out. We had a great night catching up with friends.

All in all, a fine weekend. Very March-ish, with the weather going from one extreme to the other.

Looks like the post eating monster got me...

March 14th, 2013 at 03:14 pm

The last 2 posts I've attempted to write initially posted but they are now gone. Ugh...

I'm too tired to rewrite. I made it cash only this pay period, pay day is tomorrow, that's it. Happy weekend, to all!

Still cash only...

March 11th, 2013 at 05:57 pm

I have $26 left in my checking account for gas but besides that I have been cash only this pay period. I have very little left till payday on Friday but that is how I planned it. I have all of my bills paid, food in the house, and money for gas set aside. I will make it to payday!

Today the weather was beautiful, thank goodness. I took advantage of the nice weather and ran 40 minutes outdoors before dinner. It felt great to be outside again, in just running capris and a tshirt.

My tenant is out of the beach condo and I have been sort of looking for a new tenant. I say "sort of" because I haven't been hard-core searching for a new tenant just yet. I have a lot going on at home and at school, and I guess I'm just getting lazy. Plus the condo doesn't cost too much, so I see it as "forced savings" almost. Of course it would be even better if someone else was paying down my mortgage, so I need to get on the ball with this. The condo association is changing the by-laws to prohibit renting, so that could really change things for me. In the meantime, though, I should be able to get a renter.

A few more no spend days

March 6th, 2013 at 02:58 am

After a spendy weekend I managed to keep my wallet closed Monday and Tuesday. The longer I can do that the better, I'm doing cash-only this pay period.

I was planning on spending something tonight because we are not going home until after dinnertime. DD has a school performance so we are hanging out on that side of town to wait for her show. I figure I will work out, catch up on never ending paperwork in the classroom, and pick up dinner for us somewhere. Actually, I will check in the fridge or freezer first and see if there is anything convenient we can pack for dinner. PBJs and fruit, anyone? That would be super, if I can get a third no-spend day in!

My course tuition has posted to my credit card, so I have to pay off the $890. I could take it out of savings, but I plan to just pay it off $100 or $150 a paycheck, since it is a 0% card. Then all I have left to do is pass the course and get the most out of it that I can.

I also received $250 bonus for refinancing my new car with my credit union. That money posted in my savings account, so my refund account is now $314.

Registered for another class

March 3rd, 2013 at 01:14 pm

I registered for class #3 of my series of 5. $890 that I paid out of pocket. I may get a few hundred of that back next summer in tuition reimbursement from work, but I have to wait and see if the funding will still be there.

I wrote out the cover letter for my job application. I want to keep my options open for other job opportunities that may help me reach my long term professional goals. I think that staying where I am will not help me in the long run. Furthering my education and seeking a more specialized position will help. I don't have to accept anything if I don't want to create too many changes in my life at once, but I do want to see what else is out there.

We had a cold, cold weekend. I got my errands finished and all of the work that I had to do is finished. Next we are heading to my mom's for dinner, and then back home to get to bed early in anticipation for another work week.

I spent money: $49 dinner out for the kids and me, $24 at Walmart for Easter decorating and drinks for my parents' dinner, $2 coffee and apple pies, $30 for gas, $13 for sewing supplies for DDs class. That was easy to spend...need to be very careful with the rest! Just $78 left :0

Coming up: Spring?

March 1st, 2013 at 02:35 am

Although it is still cold outside, I'm seeing the end of the tunnel with warmer days here and there. I know for the next month or so the weather will play tricks on me, but that is all part of the season. I've started to enjoy running outside so whenever the temps are mild enough I grab my mom's puppy and try to tire her out on a good run. My mom appreciates it as much as the puppy, a tired dog is a well behaved dog!

I successfully met my fitness goals last month, and even ran 4 bonus miles and completed a bonus workout. I have started to look forward to my workouts because I feel so good afterwards. Plus, when I workout consistently and feel good, I tend to make better food choices. Which makes my body feel good, and I'm more inclined to workout. A healthy cycle! I need to remember this during the tough moments when I stray from the workouts or good eating, I don't want to break out of the "good" cycle.

Financially, I have to be careful. I took out cash for the next two weeks for spending, so when it is gone, it is gone. I just don't want the added hassle of credit cards and transferring money from account to account. I tend to spend more money that way. Of course if I'm not careful I spend the cash just as easily, there is just a stopping point when it is all gone.

Starting balance: $208

This weekend I plan to work on my website for a couple hours, I'm anxious for it to be up and running. I will also do some work from school that I haven't been able to catch up on during the week. I received a new student and there is a lot of paperwork to transfer over, but you aren't given any additional time to do it all. I should have that completed in a few hours as well. So I guess I should plan on one day this weekend to be lazy at home, so that I can be in front of the computer. Well, at least I won't be spending money!

Cold days are forecasted for the weekend, so I can plan on computer work, grocery shopping, and an indoor workout for Saturday. Then Sunday church with SO and the girls, cooking for the week, and dinner at my parents' house. I'm looking forward to it, easy going weekend!

2 NSDs

February 22nd, 2013 at 03:08 am

Those sure feel good! I really look forward to going straight home after work, without stopping anywhere. Those little stops always seem to cost me something!

I stayed home with little DD yesterday, she was feeling under the weather. I got in some good workouts- a 15 minute kettle bell routine and 5 miles of running. DD and I also bagged like a million box tops for our PTA, while sipping hot tea. It was nice to baby her!

I received a $104 escrow refund check for paying too much escrow last year. The mortgage on my condo will go down $15 starting next month to offset the changes in taxes due, sweet! It is going in the short term savings account that is linked to my checking account. This can be acccessed for unexpected expenses that I don't have every month, like a nonroutine vet visit.

SO and I will go to DC for one night this weekend, she is signing the lease at her new place and we will attend a dinner party for a friend's birthday. SO covers all of these expenses, as she has much more disposable income than me at this point. We have a shared account for joint expenses such as utilities and groceries, and then we have our own accounts for our own bills and savings. It's been working for us.

I sure hope the weather doesn't impact anyone's weekend plans, and please everyone keep safe!

Another refund

February 18th, 2013 at 01:56 pm

I received a $20 refund check in the mail Saturday, which brings my total up to $64.

I've done some good workouts this weekend, a total of 2 weight/interval training dvd workouts and 5 miles of running on the treadmill.

Back to school tomorrow but I'm well rested and ready to keep moving forward.

My spending has been more than usual, as I'm doing a bit of decorating upstairs. Luckily I don't want to acquire more things to clean, so decorating consists of a few pieces of art for the wall and a couple table decorations (this room was completely empty). The room looks beautiful, and even the kids love it!

Well rested after a crazy week

February 17th, 2013 at 06:37 am

For some reason last week we had something to do every night after work. Between special afterschool activities, special cooking for work and family for Valentine's day, and shopping I was exhausted. I literally felt like I had no time to relax except when I was in bed sleeping.

I usually try to go Nowhere after work during the week, besides lessons for the kids. If I forget something from the grocery store, I try to just make do. I think that those little stops add up to some serious time (and money) wasters. I do most of my errands on the weekends when possible. I save after work errands for banks and things that aren't open on weekends.

So this weekend I have slept in and recuperated from the busy week. The girls went with their dad for the weekend, they were looking forward to that. Friday night we had take-out pizza and then went to Barnes and Nobles, where I had a gift card. I picked up a gift for one of my students who is leaving to another program, I'm going to miss him so much, even though he is by far my toughest kid Frown

Saturday we shopped for groceries, the bill only came up to $62, woohoo! It's important to note that we eat out for dinner usually on Friday and/or Saturday, so we don't buy as much food as someone who never eats out. We do shop for breakfast and lunches, though, for 7 days a week, and 5 or 6 dinners.

After groceries we shopped around for items to finish out my sitting room. Everytime I look in the room I smile! I worked on my website for about an hour and a half, and then we went out to dinner at a new restaurant recommended to us. After dinner we relaxed together with the fireplace on, which was timed perfectly because it began to sleet outside. A good time to be warm and dry inside!

Today I will work out, update my finances and work on my website for about an hour or so. It can get addicting once I get involved with the work, so I better do all of my other stuff first! I also have some BoxTops to clip and count for my school, I volunteered to manage that program for the PTA. At least it is something I can do from the comfort of my new sitting room!

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